robot-gossip project:

Lawrence and Millie are robots that are programmed to do one only thing: Talk about the latest celebrity gossip!

Usually, robots are created to be useful. However, Lawrence and Millie the robots are social loafers. The only thing they do is gossip about the latest celebrity mishaps. Instead of fetching you things you need or processing numbers, Lawrence and Millie tell you about Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie. The discussions the robots have are meant to mimic the stylings of shows like 'Entertainment Tonight' or anything on E! channel. However, by juxtaposing the manufactured/robotic delivery, a point is drawn about manufactured content, wasted resources and the time wasted when indulging in celebrity gossip.

gossip, robots, celebrity, social loafing, text-to-speech

Personal Statement
This project began from being both disgusted and fascinated by how pervasive gossip about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt has become in our society. And while they are an especially interesting case, it goes way beyond those two. Celebrity gossip is completely ridiculous, yet its everywhere.
Meanwhile, robots are typically created in our form to be more useful. I wondered what would happen if something that we normally see as useful were to spew forth seemingly useless information.

Thus Lawrence and Millie the robots are meant as a relection of the time we spend wasting when discussing things as trivial as Paris Hilton's nose job.

-Reading and reviewing lots of celebrity gossip rags and websites.
-Researching Text-to-speech technology
-java/php/applescript research

Anyone who is subject to the barrage of celebrity gossip in their normal routine.

User Scenario
A user approaches the two robots. When they are close enough, the robots begin sharing the latest celebrity in gossip. When the user steps away, the robots get quiet.

The project is made out of rss gossip feeds, php/java/applescript, two hacked robots that are housing speakers. The gameplan is as described above.

Hardware Plan

robot gossip java code:

robot gossip arduino code:


-Most text-to-speech programs are not very convincing
-Hacking electronic toys from the 80's can be interesting/difficult.
-Celebrity Gossip is addicting.

Thanks to Dan Shiffman!