Early Robots
Tantalus Synthesis Cordellia Prototype version

Jessica Field

Early Robot Works

Field Studies V2
Field Studies V1
Robot Zoo Project
Early Robots
Allegory of Pulse
Automata Films
Tantalus Synthesis
Mechanical Sculptures
Youth Workshops
Adult Workshops
Contact Info

Autonomous Robot from Jessica Field on Vimeo.

Autonomous Robot (2001)

The Autonomous robot was the first self thinking robot I attempted to create. It is a robot that has to run into walls to know when to change direction. The robot was programmed to become annoyed by beeping curses every time it came into contact with a wall. The work was created as part of a self directed study at OCAD.

This robot showed me the magic of electronics and the peculiarity of it nature. The robot was very simple. I used a 555 timer with a photocell input to control how the robot's audio response would sound. I then placed the photocell under the cooling fan so that the way the robot spoke was always changing with the dynamic of the light from outside going through a turning fan blade into the sensor. Knowing nothing about electronics and the evil properties of noise related problems with audio. My robot when over stimulated (Knocked into too many walls) would turn indefinitely making noise that was dynamic due to the readings from the photocell. When I whacked the bumper, the robot would blip at me and continue on its way, tantrum forgotten. Seeing these convincing behaviours not programmed by me led to the addiction of making robots.

Stumbling Robot (2000)

The Stumbling Robot stands five feet tall. He is the first robot I have ever made. He walks in such a way that you think he may fall over at any time, but he manages, barely.

The Stumbling Robot has an alias named Wilber. As Wilber this robot has done interventionist performances for robot rights in the Pickering Town Centre, and at the Pickering Art Festival in 2001. He went window shopping for clothes at the Pickering Town Centre unattended and was asked to leave after a half an hour walking in the mall because he was a robot and he was distracting the shoppers from shopping curious about which store was selling him to the public.

Wilber learning from his mall experience asked for permission to wander the Pickering Art Festival to look at artworks and was allowed to stay for the duration of the festival. Unfortunately, he was viewed as one of the works by the public that was meant to entertain them by walking "funny" and was not taken seriously as a robot browsing artworks.

Wilber as a Sumo Robot

Wilber has participated in the 2002 OCAD Sumo Challenge in the Dancer/Painter Category. Wilber is programmed to randomly appear to fall over with every steps he takes by bobbing his head as he takes a step. This was sped up to match, most of the time, to ABBA's Dancing Queen.

Wilber triumphed at the Challenge by winning best dancer at the challenge to prove that he was not as uncoordinated as he appeared.

Valkyrie (2003)

This robot is a heavy weight autonomous Sumo wrestling robot. She is 1ft x 1 ft in size. Valkyrie debuted in the OCAD Sumo Challenge in 2004 at the Toronto Science Centre, but the poor girl did poorly. She was unable to compete due to the bright lights from the film cameras and became a confused mess in the ring. Thus taking an embarrassing loss in her first fight by rolling herself out of the ring.

Valkyrie’s sensor issues will be resolved one day so that she can redeem herself from her self defeat.

Collaborated with Christine Newell.

Cordella from Jessica Field on Vimeo.

Cordellia (2004)

This robot is the wooden prototype of Cordellia from Tantalus Synthesis. She was reprogrammed to perform a dance routine to Daft Punk's "Harder, Faster, Stronger." She won the Dancer class at the OCAD Sumo Challenge in 2005. The actual performance was not recorded, but utilized all her final movements in Tantalus Synthesis. Cordellia could blink, swing her body and kick her feet changing her rhythm with the song.

Collaborated with Shawna Reiter.

Cordella Prototype Blinking from Jessica Field on Vimeo.