Gogbot 2015: Internet of things

| Michaela Nesvarova

The annual Gogbot festival started on the 10th of September 2015 and, as in previous years, the University of Twente is closely involved in the event. UT students of Creative Technology were again challenged to create original installations to be displayed at the festival, which this year carries a theme ´Internet of Things´.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

Gogbot is an international festival focused on combining art and technology. Its 2015 edition is open until Sunday, the 13th of September, and it includes several installations made by UT students. Those can be found at ´UT Innovation Pavilion´ at the Oude Markt in the center of Enschede, where the festival was officially opened yesterday by Ed Brinksma, rector of the University of Twente.

´I´m here to open the 12th edition of Gogbot festival and I´m doing so with a lot of joy. Gogbot represents a creative combination of design, art, internet and media - all things that play a major role in today´s world,´ said Brinksma.

Young talents from the UT

The festival offers a stage for top artists, as well as for young talents. And some of those come from the University of Twente. Bachelor students of the study program of Creative Technology are presenting their creations at Gogbot and it is safe to say that their work can easily compete with all the rest.

One of the installations, which originated at the university, is ´Velorexperince´. It allows visitors to virtually drive a Velorex car around the Oude Markt by using Oculus Rift glasses and sensors connected to the steering wheel. The resulting experience is rather realistic, considering the creators´ team also shakes the car if it hits a bump on the road or if you decide to drive it into a wall. ´We also plan to install an engine into the car and make it really drive. We hope to have that ready for the 2016 Zwarte Cross festival, for which we have signed up,´ says Pablo Trautwein, who belongs to the team responsible for Velorexperience.

Installations using social media

The UT Innovation Pavilion also hosts installations more related to the ´Internet of Things´ theme. We can mention ´The Heart of the Internet´, which showcases the internet as a living thing. The ´beating´ machine prints out tweets related to Gogbot, and therefore visualizes that - even if we don´t realize it - things on the internet are permanent.

Twitter is used in another UT creation titled #FeedLarry, involving an aquarium with a fish called Larry, who needs tweets in order to survive. Project Omniscient is also closely related to the social media. It has displayed the power they have over our lives by connecting an entire room to Facebook. Touching random objects within the room posts different statuses on this popular social platform, and therefore draws attention to the issue of how much privacy we are willing to share via the internet.

Have Fun and Play

Overall, the UT students have come up with original, high-quality and generally relevant projects. ´It´s important to remember that these installations are made by first year Bachelor students and only within three months,´ says Marielle Stoelinga, who leads the ´Have Fun and Play´ course, during which the installations are made. ´I always say I´ve got the nicest course to teach out of the whole university.´