Erica made her second annual appearance at the University of Southampton’s Science and Engineering Day. She was based in the Nightingale building along with loads of other demonstrations from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) such as “How healthy is your house” and “The hive mind”.
Around 350 kids and their families got to know Erica, pressing her cheek and chin sensors and being spotted by her eyes and presence sensor. They also interacted with Erica’s various touchscreens to make her react by waggling her ears, moving and blinking her eyes, flashing her lights (LEDs) and making various noises, including farting when she gets overfed. They could also use Twitter to tweet Erica to get her to change the colour of her horn LEDs.
Although Erica has not acquired any significant new behaviours for the Science and Engineering Fair, she has been upgraded to use the new Raspberry Pi 2s, which are a lot more powerful than the original Raspberry Pis. As mentioned in an earlier post, the boards that sit on the top of pis have been upgraded with proper bespoke printed circuit boards. The next post will go into a bit more detail about Erica’s upgrades made for this year’s Science and Engineering Fair.