String-operated puppets or marionettes, a disappearing art form in Singapore, exist in various cultural themes. The puppeteer techniques involved become a cultural or national heritage; the making of marionette figures becomes fine folk arts. In the modern elementary education, puppetry is also a very effective tool for shaping children’s personality, creativity, and thinking. The objective of this project is to develop modern puppetry using robotics and information technology to evoke and stimulate public interests in this traditional art form and to create new forms that combine arts with science and technology. This project is a long term pursual of fusion of robotics with cultural elements under the theme of human-robot interaction.
Over the years, we have built quite a few systems in robotic puppetry. The most recent one can be seen in YouTube here.