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at Tate Britain: Bauhaus Recoded on Nov. 1st 2019


tangible interface for collaborative human robot interaction

Team : Kongpyung Moon and Peng Gao

Role : Concept, Programming and Electronics

CuGo is an interactive board game, where human and robot players collaborate to achieve a shared goal. It consists of a game board, on which modular reconfigurable robots, perform unpredictable movements, as well as passive blocks that are moved by both human and robot players. The goal of the game is to stack the passive blocks as high as possible.The player moves the passive blocks on the board into a position where they think the robot can grab them. When the passive blocks are in reachable zone, the robots use their inverse kinematic intelligence to reach the passive units, but when they are not accessible, the robots suggest alternative positions to the player. 


Dramatic developments in artificial intelligence have established the fact that the performance of AI for specialised tasks will surpass those of humans. CuGo is a tangible platform where both intelligence of human and machine are encouraged to participate to achieve a common goal, breaking the anxiety between two entities. While most artificial intelligence studies focus on autonomous systems, CuGo seeks a comprehensive understanding of artificial intelligence, proposing a human centric, shared autonomy. 


CuGo introduces a user-friendly environment not only for technologists, but for people without any AI related knowledge. With a proper learning model, CuGo creates a mutual learning system where players can observe how the robot performs and learn the logic behind their movements, at the same time, the robots can gradually build their “personality”, namely unique ways of moving. The current gaming process is a basic demonstration of the CuGo system, future variants of CuGo with a further developed learning ability could provide more freedom to play, allowing human players to design their own rules and goals for the game. 


- Here-East, London, UK

- Barbican Centre Life Rewired Hub, London, UK

- Ars Electronica Festival 2019, Linz, Austria

- Tate Britain Bauhaus Recoded, London, UK


- CuGo; tangible interface for collaborative interaction between human and semi-intelligent robot (2019),

supervised by Owen Holland  (UCL Master thesis - unpublished)

- ACM Interaction Magazine, How was it made; CuGo, May-June 2020 issue - expected,

(Moon K., Gao P., In J., Glynn R.)


- ACM Interaction Magazine, Demo-hourMay-June 2020 issue - expected,

(Moon K., Gao P., In J., Glynn R.)


Mass Development


Human players are encouraged to move the passive blocks on the board, then, CuGo responds to the displaced passive blocks. If its on reachable zone it uses its own kinematic intelligence to grab and stack on top of the others, but if not it suggest one possible movement for human players

when no target is detected, it suggests possible movements

more than one robot can be placed on the board

when a target is detected, it grabs the target

more than one passive blocks can be attached on a robot

one unit = 3 rotation states

two units = 9 rotation states

four units = 81 rotation states

three units = 27 rotation states

when powered from the board and connected to the network, units go to middle position (0 degrees) 

courtesy of Jaehyeong Yoo

Indirect Interaction between robots, a robot can affect the other's behavior by placing the passive block on their reachable zone

courtesy of Jaehyeong Yoo

courtesy of Jaehyeong Yoo


While industrial robot arm's joints axis are perpendicular to each other, CuGo's joint axis are angular. Therefore, it requires temporal extra frames to calculate DH parameters.


Due to unit's discrete rotations( -120, 0 and 120 degrees) instead of applying gradient descent optimization, lookup table (hash) is generated for inverse kinematics. 

frameModules [Converted].png

90 degrees

4 frames

180 degrees

5 frames

270 degrees

6 frames

0 degrees

4 frames

CuGo's kinematic changes according to the neighbor modules, therefore, DH frames has to be modular as well. Computer generates hash according to relative orientation of the chained modules.

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