DIY Transducers And The Internet Of Things

DIY Transducers And The Internet Of Things

At a Recent Meeting Of The Council For the Internet of Things, researcher Jean Baptiste presented his work on DIY Transducers. His project represents the possibility of creating transducers made out of organic materials that can grow and decay.

Dylan Schenker
  • 3 january 2011

At a Recent Meeting Of The Council For the Internet of Things, researcher Jean Baptiste presented his work on DIY Transducers. His project represents the possibility of creating transducers made out of organic materials that can grow and decay. Through his research he was interested in exploring how technology built from organic compounds could interact with both humans and natural environments.

According to Baptiste, while normal objects made from static materials such as plastic represent a sense of human control, transducers made from organisms have the stronger ability to interact and develop with their environment. Objects created in this way would offer less determinate results and thus could evolve in unpredictable ways. An alleviation of control by human design would invite a more interactive relationship between technology and nature.

By using wood he was also able to create sensors and actuators that were simpler to modulate, forgoing techniques such a soldering and chemical etchant that require more technical skill. Humans would then have more ability to repurpose them, creating a tension between their organic composition and their modular construction.

In an interview with We Make Money Not Art he described his motivations,

Let say that I was motivated by these ideas and also by the desire of a playful drift from the ubiquitous idea of cybernetics, theory of governance and control (kubernetika, the art of steering), minimising the presence of predictive control (feedforward, feedback, negative-feedback) by systems or their operators, while, like in poetic cybernetics, celebrating human abilities to appreciate scale-invariance, navigate through intricate recursive assemblages and adapt to ad-infinitum changes. A second perspective is the ability to create processes or machines that interveine into natural environment but then withdraw themselves to let their artificiality being re-conquered by living entities, controlled by extra-human rules.

The Internet of Things is the idea that all objects could be wirelessly connected to the Internet at all times, usually by RFIDs or QR Codes. The connection would result in a database  that is continuously updated by information gathered by these objects through their use and interaction with other objects and their environment. That information would not only be kept in a separate database but used to continuously update the objects themselves.

We Make Money Not Art: “DIY Transducers”

The Internet of Things


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