i n v e s t i g a t o r s :
Keith Evan Green
Architecture, PI
Ian D. Walker
Robotics Engineer, Co-PI

t e a m:
Susanna Ashton

English, Co-PI
Abel A. Bartley
Pan-African Studies, Co-PI
James M. Burns
History, Co-PI
Tarek Mokhtar
Ph.D. Student, Architecture/PD&BE

p a r t n e r s :
The Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C)
Charleston, South Carolina
The Charleston Civic Design Center
Charleston, South Carolina





Robotic Monuments
Robotic Monuments represent a promising future for robotics-embedded public places, sentient,cyber-human interaction, and “robots for citizens.” Each concept below was carefully developed for particular physical-cultural sites around the globe.
M-IT monumental-IT
is an open-source, robotic monument that is reconfigurable in real-time by lay citizens. Monumental-IT gives form, color, sound and movement to users’ feeling about a specified human event. The intelligent monument is comprised of five tall masts terminated by actuated, hinged linkages; the movements of these scissor-like linkages reconfigure canopies of fabric tethered above the visitors. Microphones distributed across the physical site of the monument invite users to annunciate what they feel in response to a specified human event; this audio input is then “read” by the system for its emotive value, and translated by the system into a multi-modal, dynamic expression of sentiment. As well as the inputs offered by users locally, Monumental-IT affords remote users to access the Monumental-IT website and express their sentiments by way of responses (radio buttons) to a series of questions found there. The input of remote users is actuated in the monument during those periods that are void of local user input (dead spaces).

Monumental-IT represents a promising future for ICT-embedded public  places, sentient, human-physical-digital interaction, and “robots for citizens.”

Summative Publication:
Mokhtar, T., Green, K. E., Walker, I. D.,
"Giving Form to the Voices of Lay-Citizens:    An Intelligent, Robotic, Civic Monument." [unpublished]. A revised version of this paper will be presented at HCII 2013, Las Vegas, July 21-26, 2013 and published in its preceedings.

Overview of our larger trajectory for a robotic-embedded monument: Mokhtar, T., Green, K. E., Walker, I. D., Threatt, T., Murali, V., Apte, A., and Mohan, S. (2010). “Embedding Robotics in Civic Monuments for an Information World. WiP Proceedings of CHI 2010: the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Atlanta, Georgia.

Flotus Robotic Monument flotus | ANGKOR CAMBODIA
Raghu Ramachandran (Architecture) and Sumod K Mohan (ECE), Student Investigators

Flotus is a floating monument for the remembrance of the great Khmer empire that ruled the land of Cambodia in the 9th century. Flotus is motivated by the 14th century disastrous flood that caused the Tonia Sap lake to flood, resulting in the destruction of the Khmer Empire. In form, Flotus is inspired by the design of the Angkor Wat temple with its five towers inspired by the form of a lotus-bud. Flotus has multiple locations: on the Mekong River that is reversing its course, on the Tonia Sap river, and on the West Baray pond. Flotus is designed with the goal of alerting residents of the flood in its different locations, and as a guide for fishermen to the location of fish in the Tonia Sap river, recognized as the world's largest fishbowl.


reBirth Robotic Monument reBirth | L' AQUILA, ITALY
Tony Threatt (Architecture) and Vidya Murali (ECE), Student Investigators

re.Birth is a monument in La'Aquila, Italy motivated by the tenacity of its residents who have repeatedly rebuilt their city in the wake of earthquakes. The design of this prototype aims: (1) to realize a monument that senses and displays seismic activity and restructures itself into a protective configuration when dangerous seismic activity is detected; and (2), to realize a monument that celebrates the "rebirth" of the city and its people.


weBOT Robitic Monument weatherBot | MELBOURNE
Tarek Mokhtar (Architecture) and Akshay Apte (ECE), Student Investigators

Weather.bot (affectionately known as We.bot) is a responsive weather monument motivated by extreme daily climate changes in Melbourne, Australia. We propose a monument to bring awareness to the collective memory of weather has long been tumultuous in this city. We.bit is designed with the goal of having a monument for recalling past weather changes at the given calendar day in Melbourne's history.