Autonomous And Interactive Office Chair
Fall 2018, Gagosian Gallery presented PLAY, conceived by Urs Fischer with choreography by Madeline Hollander.
As described by Gagosian’s website, “PLAY is an arena of chance encounters where visitors are invited to interact with nine office chairs that seem to have lives of their own. […] The more the viewer seeks to control the chairs, the clearer it becomes that they are not pawns or pets but participants. By attempting to understand the choreography, we actually create it, enacting the very patterns that we wish to decode.”
An NTB team from three different institutes (EMS, INF and ESA) worked intensively in the last two years on the development of this project.
NTB created a concept for mechanic, electronic and software systems, developed mechanical parts and motors, drives, sensors and integrated processors into the chairs, without any systems directly visible from the outside.
Chairs interact with people and the environment thanks to sensors and algorithms including collision avoidance, object and people detection.
Custom made batteries and electronics allow the chairs to move freely throughout the exhibition space. When the batteries are low, chairs move autonomously to a changing-room, where an NTB developed battery robot autonomously changes the batteries and charges the empty ones.