!hello my name is  megan e:megan(at)media.mit.edu
mas863 fall 2001
p: neil gershenfeld
ta: yael maguire
    semester project proposal v.1
  back   design, model, and render a computer interface, usable by a large animal of your
  choosing (not including humans).

I chose to design an interface to a computer for my roomate's bird, a cockatiel named Oreo. This bird doesn't like to fly, because it doesn't think it's really a bird. She also loves to chew on shoelaces and walk around on shoulders and windowsills. She enjoys looking at herself in the mirror, and long walks on the beach.

While designing Oreo's interface, I took these traits of hers into consideration. There are two significant elements to her computer interface, there is a set of three shoelace input buttons, and there is a camera-to-cursor-to-bird feedback loop which controls direction and navigation.

The structure of the interface is very physical so that the bird can play around and entertain intelf. It can be mounted to a desk or table, and attaches to a computer much like a mouse or keyboard input.

The landing pad is for the bird to walk around on. It's position helps ensure that she stays in the range of the camera lens, that she has the best view of the computer screen (and her mirror image on the screen), and it lets her play with the shoelaces without having to fly between them.

Three shoelaces buttons hang from a beam for the bird to tug, climb, and chew. Each shoelace can be assigned to a different task, whether it is clicking on windows or software "buttons" on the screen, moving a drawing tool around in an application, or ringing a bells that signals my friend to come feed her.

Finally, i
nstead of using a usual cursor for the screen, there is a camera mounted on the interface structure that feeds video back to the screen of Oreo moving around. For instance, if she wants to move the cursor-bird left or right, she can walk back and forth on the ledge. If she wishes to move up and down, she can hop, fly, or climb up the laces. if she moves out of the view of the camera, she will also be out of range to see the screen, therefore she won't be able to use her computer affectively, and no damage will be done to her projects.




link to rhino file: oreo.3dm