This interactive installation by Maker Georgios Cherouvim features a real-life demonstration of a vocal debate between two characters. Instead of a productive dialogue promoting their ideas on a range of issues from voting and local government to war and taxes, the “politicians” share a constant yet indecipherable argument with one another, causing the viewers to lose interest in the conversation and politics all together.
As demonstrated in the video below, the scene isn’t too far off from your typical political debate, except for the obvious fact that the figures have giant, flashing, geometric heads and only converse through robotic beeps and bloops.
A rather noticeable dissimilarity between the installation and an actual politician debate is that the figures are actually plastic mannequins. Each character is an autonomous and independent unit, powered by a combination of custom electronics and a conversation-simulating program along with an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).
Aside from a series of RGB LED strips, the custom-built circuit board acts as an audio filter to detect a specific audio frequency, which is picked up by its built-in microphone while the tones are transmitted through the mannequin’s speakers.
The ongoing act is performed in non-deterministic fashion, with each spokesman waiting for a short moment of silence to once again resume speaking. Within a short period of time, the other unit has a chance to intervene. In the event both figures accidentally begin talking together, one stops. If one talks for way too long, the other starts talking as well and as no-one gives up, they talk on top of each other and turn red.
Intrigued like we think you may be? You can head on over to Cherouvim’s official project page here. In the meantime, watch the debate unfold below!