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Robotics for Dancers: S1 Charlie Test Scenario C

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Thesis: An Exploration Into Digital Technology and Applications for the Advancement of Dance Education

Carl Sanders
Teaching Dance with Technology
Robotics for Dancers

DJI RoboMaster S1 aka “Charlie”

Charlie’s technology was tested through a series of three dance educational scenarios that involved a) virtual class instructing, b) in studio student experimentation, and c) on-site choreography, to explore multiple methods of merging student-centered learning with the use of technology.

On-Site Creative Work - many dance artists are presented with the task of filming themselves without the assistance of others. The premise of this scenario is to create a short screendance that was filmed completely autonomously. In this experiment, I designed an array of cinematic camera work (AI functions) for Charlie to execute With the help of the Scratch drag and drop block coding interface, and along with the key functionality of Charlie’s person identity mode, which were experimented with in the previous scenarios, I explored the process of programming 3 AI actions that were then activated when filming certain scenes on site. The actions created were a gesture-controlled response that was coded to recognize my arms when held in the air in a V-shape. This signaled Charlie to perform two quick sideways movements followed by two v-shape diagonal motions as the gimbal panned up and downward.

I then used line tracking capabilities by enabling its object recognition software to follow my pre designed, hand drawn patterns on the ground. I tested both of these techniques as a dolly track for capturing choreographed sequences. In my third programming cue of either clapping my hands or stomping my feet, Charlie creates 2 large circles in a sideways motion. This was achieved by first setting a code around the shape I wanted to design with specific movements for the chassis and gimbal. I then determined the number sounds (ie claps and stomps) needed to generate the command and completed the coding.

I tested all of these programs in an outdoor environment. The outdoor filming was to see how durable and steady the shots would be while moving over rougher terrain such as concrete. Charlie was also placed in different locations to accommodate still frame recording perspectives and b-roll footage.

Music “Saved” by Jac Ross

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