Walking Head








Pneumatics, electronics, stainless steel, aluminium, acrylic


The WALKING HEAD is a 2 m diameter 6-legged autonomous and interactive walking robot. Vertically mounted on its chassis is an LCD screen imaging a computer generated human-like head. The LCD screen can rotate from side to side to physically compliment the movements of the head animation. The robot has a scanning ultra-sound sensor that detects the presence of a person in front of it. It sits still until someone comes into the gallery space- then it stands, selects from its library of of preprogrammed motions and performs the choreography for several minutes. It then stops and waits till it detects someone else. The robot performs on a 4-5 m diameter platform and its tilt sensor system detects when it is close to the edge and it then will back off, walking in another direction. The Walking Head robot will become an actual-virtual system in that its mechanical leg motions will actuate and modulate its facial behaviours of nods, turns, tilts blinks. The Walking Head also vocalizes, counterpointing the compressed air and mechanical sounds. Other possibilities include the robot being driven by its web-based 3D model with a menu of motion icons that can be pasted together and played. The robot is pneumatically actuated.

Support Credits:

Robot Construction - F18, Hamburg.

Original Head Software - Steve Middleton, RMIT.

The robot is being further developed by the Centre for Media Communications Research at Brunel University, with special thanks to Professor Abdul Sadka and Professor Steve Dixon.

Walking Head first exhibited for Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2006.


See Prosthetic Head