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Erica the Rhino: A Case Study in Using Raspberry Pi Single Board Computers for Interactive Art

Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Academic Editors: Steven J. Johnston and Simon J. Cox
Electronics 2016, 5(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics5030035
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raspberry Pi Technology)
Erica the Rhino is an interactive art exhibit created by the University of Southampton, UK. Erica was created as part of a city wide art trail in 2013 called “Go! Rhinos”, curated by Marwell Wildlife, to raise awareness of Rhino conservation. Erica arrived as a white fibreglass shell which was then painted and equipped with five Raspberry Pi Single Board Computers (SBC). These computers allowed the audience to interact with Erica through a range of sensors and actuators. In particular, the audience could feed and stroke her to prompt reactions, as well as send her Tweets to change her behaviour. Pi SBCs were chosen because of their ready availability and their educational pedigree. During the deployment, ‘coding clubs’ were run in the shopping centre where Erica was located, and these allowed children to experiment with and program the same components used in Erica. The experience gained through numerous deployments around the country has enabled Erica to be upgraded to increase reliability and ease of maintenance, whilst the release of the Pi 2 has allowed her responsiveness to be improved. View Full-Text
Keywords: Internet of Things; interactive art; Raspberry Pi; open data; image processing Internet of Things; interactive art; Raspberry Pi; open data; image processing
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Basford, P.J.; Bragg, G.M.; Hare, J.S.; Jewell, M.O.; Martinez, K.; Newman, D.R.; Pau, R.; Smith, A.; Ward, T. Erica the Rhino: A Case Study in Using Raspberry Pi Single Board Computers for Interactive Art. Electronics 2016, 5, 35.

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