The Automobile Lab

with Sam Price & Chris Nixon, commissioned by City of Stirling (2016)

The Automobile Lab is an interactive installation aimed at children, where a car is designed based on a predefined template, then instantly scanned into a virtual 3D driving track to test drive it live with 15 others. Each session is split in equal parts design and test drive, with a focus on considerations around colour schemes and iconography. It’s super fun.

photos by Mac1 Photography

Electronics & Code: Steve Berrick
Design & Illustration: Chris Nixon
3D Modelling & Soundtrack: Sam Price

For The Automobile Lab, I created a 16 channel MIDI controller, using Nintendo Wii Nunchuck controllers wired to Arduino Nanos. Each Nano sends Nunchuck data using RS232 to a Teensy 2.0, which acts as a MIDI controller. We had 16 Nunchucks, allowing for a 16 player driving track.

The car templates had embedded augmented reality markers, which could be warped and aligned during the scanning process. This made it easy to map onto pre existing 3D models. The result was a seamless transition from drawing to digital interaction.