Shadow Vehicles


Interactive teaching tools strive to make subject-material more interesting through a hands-on approach to learning. Using video projection and shadow tracking, we want to expand the hands-on interaction approach to the whole body. Vehicles, based on ideas from the book "Vehicles" by Valentino Braitenberg, is a system for programming characters that can respond to sensed stimuli in a virtual environment. These characters are constructed similarly to the vehicle metaphor in the book, by connecting simple sensors to effectors. Users can then directly interact with their creations by stepping in front of the projected environment and casting a shadow. By using sensors and effectors with different behaviors in virtual environments with varying rules, we believe this will be a good tool for teaching science as well as some basic computer programming concepts.