Blog

Occupy Wall Street With Robot Activists [Instructables How-To]

With the Occupy Wall Street movement only gaining momentum, recently with the attempt to shut down Wall Street on OWS’s two month anniversary, we’ve been seeing a lot of OWS-fueled creative work… most notably the projected “bat signal” on the Verizon Wireless building on the Day of Action, the plethora of poster designs (including Shepard Fairey’s redesign of his Obama campaign poster) and even the “memeification” of the pepper spraying UC Davis cop. But we may have found the most constructive piece of OWS-related design yet—Instructables community manager and F.A.T. Lab fellow Randy Sarafan’s OCCUPI Bot.

Sarafan says in his Instructables How-To: Learning from the lessons of the 1%, I set forth to outsource our occupy-related labor to a robotic workforce. Robots obviously have many advantages over their human counterparts. For instance, robots never get tired, they don’t get cold, they don’t sleep, nor eat, don’t require tents, and when armed insurrection becomes necessary, robots are much more morally ambivalent. Additionally, we had a discussion with an unnamed member of the San Francisco police force and they confided in us that the police currently do not have any plan for dealing with robotic occupiers.

We wonder what a fleet of these would do to the cops?! (Hopefully not end up like the smashed laptops uncovered by Motherboard.tv.) Fingers crossed, here’s how to make your own…

First gather your materials. You’ll need a robot, a megaphone, a 1/8" male-to-male stereo cable, an Arduino and wave shield, an M-type plug, a 9V battery clip and battery, PVC pipe, stuff to make a sign, tape, nuts, bolts and zip ties.

Next, mod your megaphone by adding an audio input jack… you can also use a Radioshack mini audio amplifier instead.

Now make your sign and attach to your bot’s hand with PVC pipe. If this throws the robot off balance, make a sandwich board instead.

If you want your bot to speak the digits of Pi, plug your wave shield into your Arduino, and then plug the Arduino inside of a box and connect to your computer. Upload the “PI Party!” zip file from Lady Ada so when you power on your Arduino it will read the digits of Pi. Sarafan notes that this will be annoying, but probably better than silence.

If you decide to program your own sound bites, plug your robot’s audio out port to the megaphone and record your robot to say whatever you/it wants. Read other audio options in Step 6.

Finally, dress your robot in its finest attire, make sure it’s holding its sign correctly and that the audio is working. Place in a prominent place and Occupy Wall Street all day and all night!

Visit the Instructables How-To for further instruction, more detailed photographs and tips on where to buy materials.