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                              Virtual Antfarm
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Virtual Antfarm

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Capstone project by Trevor Farquharson, Jun Cui and Gareth Dorset. Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Information Technology for their client: the Otago Museum.

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Virtual Antfarm

  1. 1. Arial Bold Arial Bold Arial Bold Virtual Antfarm Arial Regular Arial Regular Arial Regular Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Information Technology has had a long collaborative relationship with Otago Museum. The particular challenges of museum projects are well suited for capstone projects. These challenges include the focus on visitor experience (cf usability), content and narrative, metaphor and fidelity. These developments have in common an interactive basis. All are driven by computing that is non-trivial. In the finished form none involve a traditional screen-keyboard-mouse arrangement yet there is a requirement that the systems, both software and hardware are bullet proof – they can demand zero maintenance. Challenge In 2009 Otago Museum has redeveloped its nature gallery to become more interactive and engaging. This created a dilemma similar: visitors need to Development interact with an animal that must We followed the Agile Development not know it is being interacted Framework (see development blog with. http://bitweb.tekotago.ac.nz/wiki/index. php? title=Ant_Blog). Antfarm was developed as a finite state machine in Flash actionscript, projected from the ceiling onto the gallery floor. Fifty ants are individually either hungry, eating, returning to the nest, or interested in an object. Ants who find food stay to “eat” it then return to the nest leaving a Robust deployment pheromone trail to direct other ants to the food supply. A camera above the Antfarm has surface detects visitor movement and been deployed in creates a point of interest which ants the rebuilt Nature will investigate. If the visitor remains Gallery. very still (or leaves), the ants will eventually lose interest and disperse Trevor Farquharson Jun Cui Gareth Dorset Samuel Mann Hamish Smith Patricia Haden Bachelor of Information Technology

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