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Prix 1987 - 2007

Ars Electronica Linz & ORF Oberösterreich

Markus Lerner, Andre Stubbe

Outerspace is a reactive robotic creature. It is motivated by curiosity, by the desire to explore the surrounding space looking for contact. Touch it, play with it and watch its behavior.


The movements of Outerspace are determined by its curiosity in exploring the surrounding space. It looks for light, motion and finally contact. When it finds something interesting, this again increases its curiosity to find out even more. The same thing happens in the mind of the observer when he approaches the object.


The basic form consists of insect antennae that are able to make flexible movements in order to explore the environment. Outerspaces broad repertoire of motion actually originates from the world of animal movements, both in the behaviour of single organs and of animal body language. At the same time, human gestures are part of the motion patterns of Outerspace. Formal reduction and graphical abstraction invoke a wide scope of interpretations.

Technology & Materials

The body consists of three limbs and fibreglass pipes connected by joints. Four servomotors control these limbs through wires and pulleys, three for the joint movements and one for the vertical rotation. The head, the uppermost limb, carries 5 photo sensors used as eyes for brightness and simple motion recognition. All limbs have capacitory sensors that react on human body contact. Two BX-24 microcontrollers are used for input and controlling of the motors. The controllers are connected to the serial ports of a PC, where all calculations are made by special Java software.