Flap to Freedom
Help a battery hen race to freedom. Flap your arms, the harder you flap, the faster it goes. Created in collaboration with ico design for the V&A Village Fete.
About the event
“The Village Fete at the V&A is established in the design calendar as one of the most eagerly anticipated cutting edge contemporary design events of the year….The Village Fete is a showcase of the best of young British contemporary design. It’s a unique event, where everyone can join in – families and children as well as the creative community. A carefully selected group of designers (the best of the up and coming, as well as some of the more established stars) are invited to conceive and run the stalls, offering games to play, competitions to enter, and prizes to win. Design is shown as being accessible, clever, entertaining and totally inclusive”. Organised by Scarlet Projects.
Two players take their positions behind the chicken of their choice. Take the special arm flapping pose and the music begins. The race starts, you flap your arms and your chicken does the same, walking down the runway to the freedom beyond the chain fence. The first person to get their battery hen to freedom is the winner. If you tire too quickly, so will your chicken. Races were timed for the pecking order leader board, with prizes for each race and an ultimate winner.
Existing consumer toy chickens were hacked, removing all circuits before a custom circuit was designed that gave us control of legs, wings and beak. Arduino microcontrollers were used along with radio frequency modules to give wireless control of the chickens.
A hidden camera analysed movements of the two players, and directly controlled the chickens. Software programmed using openFrameworks and OpenCV.
Worked at ico design on the concept, software programming (camera analysis & chicken communication), helped with electronics and installation at the event.
Making of photos