Heart Bot Collects Heart Rate Data, Transforms into Art

Arts & Culture

Intel and SMS Audio, in collaboration with Sid Lee, created a digital and physical art installation for guests at the Intel NYC event to interact with

Leah Gonzalez
  • 2 september 2014

On August 14th, Intel and SMS Audio launched their new biometric fitness headphones called Biosport at The New Museum in New York. As part of the launch, the two companies collaborated with creative agency Sid Lee New York to create an art installation that merged the digital and the physical, and allowed the guests at the event to interact with it.

Sid Lee worked with interactive director and installation artist Aramique and his team at Tool of North America, and Odd Division to create the Heart Bot, an experimental drawing machine that is controlled by the heart rate of its viewer.

The new Biosport headphones has an integrated biometric sensor in the ear bud to track the wearer’s pulse while they work out. In a similar vein, the Heart Bot tracks the viewer’s heart beat and interprets the heart rate as lines and dots on a large space on the wall.

According to the team from Tool, the experimental drawing machine was patterned after a robot called HEKTOR and a drawing robot called the PLOTCLOCK. The Heart Bot consists of a pedestal fitted with a heart rate sensor and mechanical arms that move around on a wall surface.


To interact with the experimental drawing machine, the viewer simply had to place their hand on the pedestal for about thirty seconds. The sensor would track their heart rate and relay it to the robotic arms, which would then start drawing in real time. The Heart Bot basically collected heart rate data from a group of people at a fixed time and fixed location to create a piece of generative art. Since all the participants’ “drawings” were created on the same surface, the resulting piece showed how each person experienced the moment and had a unique physiological response to the environment.

About 60 people participated in the art piece by controlling the Heart Bot with their heart rate. Among them were SMS Audio’s 50 Cent and professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony.

The final work of art created by the Heart Bot will be donated to the domestic relief charity, Feeding America.

SMS Audio // Sid Lee

Source: Designboom, Motherboard

+fitness / sport
+sid lee

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