Vehicles is a book by Valentino Braitenberg which represents the simplest form of behavior based artificial intelligence that emerges from sensorimotor interaction between the agent and its environment, without any need for an internal memory, representation of the environment, or inference. These vehicles have sensor(s) which respond to a stimulus and are connected to motor(s) that drive the wheels of the vehicle. Different wiring connections between sensors and motors cause the vehicle to exhibit behavior like love,aggression,fear etc.
Our aim is to provide a learning experience in the form of a book that would help readers to understand different vehicles and their behaviour while going through the process of building a vehicle using a smartphone app which responds to colors as sensors. The built vehicles can be projected on the book or on real world objects and the vehicles respond to the colour sensor depending upon their type. The specially designed book has 10 wooden pages which help in holding the weight of the phone and other objects like crayons, skittles and fridge magnets. The first half of the book introduces the reader to the concept of vehicles and four major types of vehicles, after which the reader sees a projector based smartphone, paper and crayons attached to the following page. The reader uses the crayon to draw on the paper ,attaches it to placeholders provided on the next page and holds the book upright. The reader then finds instructions to launch the app from the phone, creates a vehicle and projects the app onto the paper. Depending on the type of vehicle and color of the crayon (i.e the vehicle’s sensor), different vehicle types are formed and respond accordingly to the sensor. Upon turning to the final page,the reader finds skittles, magnets, lego blocks and clay attached to the page, so that the user can take them out in the real world and experiment with objects around him. Embedding a projector based mobile phone within the book provides a complete learning experience as readers learn about different vehicles from the introductory text, draw color sensors and project vehicles to get a better idea of the text and can take take their learning experience outside the book by either using the skittles and legos available with the book or project the phone on other real-world objects outside the book. Being a single hand held device for creating vehicles, choosing sensor color, processing the colors around and finally projecting the vehicles opens up opportunities of explorative and playful learning.
Made with Rahul Budhiraja during my internship at Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab.