Urban Cyborganics: How it works

For the Urban Cyborganics project we stripped the original Bamboo Whisper down to just include the bonnet. For practical reasons. The vest and ‘bum-piece’ are of a distinct size and so does not fit majority of people and we want the experience to be accessible to as many people as possible. The technology contained in the vest was no longer necessary in the new system.

The bonnet is handwoven out of bamboo reeds and contains a GPS system, a micro-controller, a light-sensor, a DC motor and is connected to the internet via GSM.

Through the GPS the device detects rewilded locations in and around Aarhus with high interspecies populations, in particularly insects. A webhook continuously checks the time of year and day, and the local weather conditions and decides if the conditions are agreeable to insect-life, i.e.:

  • dry weather, i.e. less than 2mm precipation within the last hour
  • no strong wind, i.e. less than 7 m/s
  • temperatures above 12º Celsius in spring and autumn, 18º Celsius in summer

The light-sensor detects locally rapidly changing conditions, such as sudden cloud cover or moving to an inside environment. Thank you to Lars Brøndum from Natural History Museum for working out the details!

Fulfilling all these conditions: close proximity to an insect-friendly environment, right time of year and day with favorable weather conditions and correct ligh-levels, triggers the dc motor, which is connected to the protruding reeds, causing the insect-like vibration and rattle of the bonnet.