Bright Eyed and ‘Tech-y’ Themed: Eye Mechatronics Update

Welcome again to Erica the Rhino’s website where you can keep up to date with her transformation from a fibreglass sculpture to a digitally interactive Rhino! You’ll be pleased to know that she has arrived safely in Southampton – photos have been uploaded to our Facebook page and Instagram profile; be sure to take a look and share with your friends.

During her stay here at the University’s ECS department, we will keep you guys up to speed with her progress through regular blog posts; you’ll even get a chance to make your own interactive rhino features at home; keep an eye on the How To page

The first step of Erica’s make over is her skin– the competition for the artwork design has now finished and Christopher Clancy’s design was chosen by popular vote! We will be photographing Chris’s progress in painting Erica and unveiling her transformation very shortly! Christopher studies at Winchester School of Art and his inspiration for this design was based on his creative interpretation of a ‘tech-y’ theme. Let us know what you think of this fantastic design below or via our Twitter page.

We’ve been speaking to the tech team to find out exactly why they wanted to work with our wonderful Rhino and also what modifications they’re planning on making during the next couple of months. Tyler Ward is first up! He is a PhD student at the University and is part of the mechatronics team.

He’s been working on Erica’s eyes, focussing on how to get her to physically look at people in the surrounding area. Erica can even blink with the use of LED’s; the brightness can be adjusted to replicate eye movement. To meet Tyler and to find out more watch the video below!

Check back here next week to meet another member of the team, who will be sharing with us the concept behind Erica’s own brain – she really does have a mind of her own!

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