Hairlytop Interface moves organically in response to light
The Hairlytop Interface is an interactive surface display made of soft solid-state actuators and optical sensors which react to light. Jointly developed by the University of Electro-Communications and Symphodia Phil, when placed on an iPad that is playing a video, it moves organically, like a living thing, in response to changes in the brightness of the screen.
"One feature of this system is that the motion is very cute, like that of an animal. Another feature is that it can be used extremely freely in terms of design."
"Basically, the system consists of lots of optical sensors and shape-memory alloy components. Because the structure is very simple, units can be attached in a variety of places. For example, these could be used on the surface of a pet robot, to give it fur like a real pet. In the future, as a challenge, we'd like to try making a floor that's full of these, so the whole floor can move."
"What's new about this technology is how the units are controlled. Ordinarily, controlling a lot of these individually would take time. Controlling the motion of a thousand, or ten thousand, would mean a very heavy computing load. But with this system, as long as there's a video, thousands or tens of thousands can be controlled at once. The point is that technology like this is a very good way to control an assemblage."
The Hairlytop interface uses light as stimuli for movement, but various other sensors, such as audio or magnetic sensors, can be used for different effects. The developers would like to create range of applications for this system, including educational toys and plush toy accessories.