CONCEPTUAL DESCRIPTION: (courtesy of Ani and her mastery of words)
We, the CNC [CBA Netizen Collective] are engineering a gestural interface between your biological tongue and a CNC [computerized numerically controlled] tongue. This is a project exploring the tension between virtuality and tangible longing. Through building a tele-robotic tongue that mimics the action of a remote participant's tongue in real time, we experiment at the thresholds of mediated pleasure and synthetic satisfaction of virtual experiences.

See our Modular Machine Group Project Page here.

My Contributions

My contributions to the group included: Concept for a virtual licking interface, helping to assemble to stages for the machine, and casting multiple tongue models for the end effector to experiment with different shapes and materials.

The first of my contributions was in the initial building of the stages from Nadya's Modular Machines tutorial. I was part of laser cutting the initial cardboard pieces for assembly as well as the assembly process.

With Nadya's wonderful instructions we were able to quite easily assemble 3 stages for our modular machine. This involved gluing the cardboard, folding it correctly and adding in the stepper motor for programming. I also briefly learned how to run some of the test code on the stages that we made using python and Nadya's testing code. There's lots of pictures from the day below as well as cardboard layouts of the modular portions of our machine.

As part of the Tongue/End Effector team, I worked on casting multiple tongues for experimentation of the end effector. Using the wax mold that Joshuah designed, I cast a drystone tongue to facilitate Ani in her pneumatic experimentation as well as clay tongues. The idea behind the clay tongues was to reform them into other shapes that tongues sometimes make, like a clover. In my perspective, tongues are sort of silly so any type of silliness we could bring into our design was totally welcome!

Lastly, I helped in the ideation of our interface. Through some pretty silly experimentation of simply licking our own iPhones it was clear that being able to control our machine through actual movements of the tongue would be viable and a totally hilarious experience.

I've thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, and I hope that when I have more time I can make another machine of my own, perhaps less oriented towards tongues... :P

Modular Machine Group Project Page

Tools used: Oomoo molds, drystone, clay, glue, laser cutter, cardboard, stepper motor