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    Topobo

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    We introduce Topobo, a 3D constructive assembly system embedded with kinetic memory, the ability to record and playback physical motion. Unique among modeling systems is Topobo's coincident physical input and output behaviors. By snapping together a combination of Passive (static) and Active (motorized) components, people can quickly assemble dynamic biomorphic forms like animals and skeletons with Topobo,animate those forms by pushing, pulling, and twisting them, and observe the system repeatedly play back those motions. For example, a dog can be constructed and then taught to gesture and walk by twisting its body and legs. The dog will then repeat those movements and walk repeatedly.Our evaluation of Topobo in classrooms with children ages 5-13 suggests that children develop affective relationships with Topobo creations and that their experimentation with Topobo allows them to learn about movement and animal locomotion through comparisons of their creations to their own bodies. Eighth grade science students' abilities to quickly develop various types of walking robots suggests that a tangible interface can support understanding how balance, leverage and gravity affect moving structures because the interface itself responds to the forces of nature that constrain such systems.

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    Description

    Title : Topobo
    Author(s) : Hayes Solos Raffle, Amanda J. Parkes, Hiroshi Ishii
    Abstract : We introduce Topobo, a 3D constructive assembly system embedded with kinetic memory, the ability to record and playback physical motion. Unique among modeling systems is Topobo's coincident physical input and output behaviors. By snapping together a combination of Passive (static) and Active (motorized) components, people can quickly assemble dynamic biomorphic forms like animals and skeletons with Topobo,animate those forms by pushing, pulling, and twisting them, and observe the system repeatedly play back those motions. For example, a dog can be constructed and then taught to gesture and walk by twisting its body and legs. The dog will then repeat those movements and walk repeatedly.Our evaluation of Topobo in classrooms with children ages 5-13 suggests that children develop affective relationships with Topobo creations and that their experimentation with Topobo allows them to learn about movement and animal locomotion through comparisons of their creations to their own bodies. Eighth grade science students' abilities to quickly develop various types of walking robots suggests that a tangible interface can support understanding how balance, leverage and gravity affect moving structures because the interface itself responds to the forces of nature that constrain such systems.
    Subject : unspecified
    Area : Other
    Language : English
    Year : 2004

    Affiliations MIT Media Lab
    Journal : System
    Volume : 6
    Issue : 1
    Publisher : ACM Press
    City : New York, New York, USA
    Pages : 647 - 654
    Url : http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=985692.985774
    Isbn : 1581137028
    Doi : 10.1145/985692.985774

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