EXPERTS IN
RADICAL COLLABORATION

We can host Radical Collaboration workshops for your projects or, if you're a creative inventor, turn your IP into real solutions.

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Welcome to

The Drawing Board

Our New and Exclusive Newsletter

We want to ignite new ideas for campaigns to come and demonstrate the breadth and depth of expertise within our reach.

In every edition we include an exclusive interview with one of our creative collective, ready for some Radical Collaboration. We also want to inspire new campaigns with our Tech Check and Think-Through Calendar sections. The former spotlights some on-trend tech that we like to use in our projects. Our Think-Through Calendar highlights upcoming national and international events to theme an activation around and the Ideation Centre demonstrates how our featured tech can be used in these activations.

The Drawing Board

RADICAL COLLABORATION

Have you ever met a robotics maestro/engineer who frequents Burning Man festival and is also a DJ? Well you’re about to!

Our account manager sat down with Strange Thoughts’ friend and colleague Ad Spiers for a chat about robotics, devices that will change the world and animatronic origami. Ad was integral to the creation of Homer, our mind-controlled pint-pulling robot whom has toured Europe and is currently available for bookings.


Ad’s areas of expertise are robotics, haptics, manipulation and prosthetics. If that doesn’t sound very accessible then don’t worry, we asked him to describe his work as if talking to a four year old.

So when Ad's robots aren't saving lives, what do they get up to?

When asked about his more fun-loving work he mentioned “animatronic origami” and a project that answered the question of how technology can inform artistic practice, rather than simply be a tool in the process.

Ad collaborated with an origami artist and took foxes with actuators (devices that makes things move) and speakers hidden in them to various festivals including Secret Garden Party and Playgroup. This meant festival-goers could serenely watch a fleet of origami foxes move in unison while emitting calming noises. These contrasted nicely to the techno they'd been experiencing previously.


In a separate project, Ad created bespoke robots with his own bespoke code in order to remake artists' drawings their own with added unique variation. Artists then added colour to the robots’ drawings resulting in a collaborative project between humans and machines, full of unpredictable idiosyncrasies.


The topic of joyful, creative technology brought us to Homer, our mind-controlled pint-pulling robot, who was initially created by Ad (and a few others).  

Ad has been following Homer’s development since its creation - “It’s nice to see how it's changed and been so successful… I can still pick out a few of the original components we selected”. Ad was very proud to learn that his boy was now all grown up and quenching thirsts throughout Europe.


We really wanted to know about technology that Ad thought would be defining in years to come. He felt that the idea of handheld shape-changing devices could make a big impact on sighted, blind and visually impaired people”.

“In the same way that a guide dog gives you guidance through pulling on your hand, we're trying to make handheld devices that pull or push on your hands. They sync up to a navigation app on your phone and then guide you, for sighted people it might mean we don’t need to stare at our phones all the time when walking”.

If you’re interested in these haptic navigation devices or any of Ad’s work click here or here

Ad is one the many creative technical experts that make up Strange Thoughts’ creative collective. If you’re interested in any of his work let us know in the contact form at the bottom of the page and we’ll see if we can work something out together.

Tech Check

An IoT is the inner wiring of a device which allows communication with another device. This could be via wifi, bluetooth or anything internet connected. If you want one device to respond or signal to another, you’ll need an IoT to make it happen.

Let’s say you wanted the stop button on your alarm clock to activate the coffee machine downstairs - IoTs would need to be installed in both devices. You could also trigger the snooze button to send a text to your boss saying you'll be five minutes late to work. You'd just need some IoTs and someone tech savvy to install them.

Although IoTs are frequently used in smart home technology, as shown in the video opposite, we have used them in various products such as our Tap Out button for Kozel. When the button was pressed, it ordered taxis for the presser (and a friend in a different location) to the nearest pub that served Kozel. It also notified the barman to have two pints ready for their arrival. The perfect post-work presser.


More examples

WELCOME TO OUR THINK - THROUGH CALENDAR AND IDEATION CENTRE

Here, we want to ignite new ideas for campaigns to come. We’ve collated upcoming national, and international events that are perfect to theme an activation around. We’ve also dreamt up some examples of campaigns, which feature this edition’s chosen piece of tech, to colour in your imagination.

october
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH - 10/01/2021
LONDON MARATHON - 03.10.2021
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WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY - 10.10.2021
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HALLOWEEN - 31.10.2021
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novemeber
DIWALI - 04.11.2021
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GUY FAWKES - 05.11.2021
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WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY - 21.11.2021
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THANKSGIVING - 24.11.2021
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december
CHANNUKAH -
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CHRISTMAS - 25.12.2021
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KWANZA - 26.12.2021 - 01.01.2022
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NEW YEARS EVE - 31.12.2021
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Black History Month

01.10.21

An annual observation and celebration of black achievements and contribution to history.

London Marathon

03.10.21

Founded in 1981, this marathon serves as an opportunity to support charities and challenge yourself as an individual.

World Mental Health Day

10.10.21

An international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. First celebrated in 1992, this year’s theme is 'Mental health in an unequal world'.

Halloween

31.10.21

Whether you believe this holiday originates from Pagan routes, Gaelic festivals or a Christian remembrance of the dead, we can all agree its a lot of fun.

Ideation Centre

Our October activation idea is for an halloween, IoT-based activation for a juice or smoothie brand.

Bob’s your uncle:


One of everyones favourite halloween traditions is apple bobbing. We would rig a standard apple bobbing set up with some scales and IoTs. We’d also create some branded sky lanterns and a juicer or smoothie maker.

When a consumer managed to hook an apple out of the basket, the change in weight would be registered by the scales. Using our IoT system, the weight change would automatically activate the release of a branded spooky sky lantern and start the juicing process for a fresh apple juice as a reward for our bobber.

If you’re interested in budgets and timelines for this activation please fill out the contact form below.

Diwali

04.11.21 - 09.11.21

The 5 day festival of lights is recognised by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists. Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Its name originates from the Sanscrit for row of lighted lamps.

Guy Fawkes

05.11.21

Also known as Bonfire or Fireworks night, this commemoration dates all the way back to 1605 and a failed plot to kill the monarchy.

Anti-bullying Week

21.11.21 - 28.11.21

This week of awareness and recognition kicks off with “Odd Socks day’, an initiative to celebrate what makes us all unique.

Thanksgiving

25.11.21

This holiday, observed in around 11 countries, began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It's important to recognise the suffering of Native American, First Nation and Indigenous populations during this time.

Ideation Centre

Our November activation idea could centre around any event involving fireworks (Diwali, Guy Fawkes, Thanksgiving)


Hit the lights:


Fireworks and sparklers are a must have for many November events, so why do we so often forget to buy them?

We would provide consumers with an emergency glass box with ‘In case of lack of firepower, break glass” inside. When someone realises they forgot to buy this years fireworks, they break the casing with a small firework-shaped hammer provided.

Using our trusty IoTs, breaking the glass case would initiate an order or enquiry sent to the 3 nearest firework stores. We could tailor this so that the fireworks are ordered straight to your door or so that your number is provided for the store can get back to you with their current stock.

We have the technology for this activation ready to go, so if you’re interested let us know in the form below.

Chanukah

28.11.21 - 08.12.12 


An 8 day long Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple. This festival of lights involves lighting candles, singing special songs, Reciting the Hallel prayer, eating foods fried in oil such as Latkes and gift-giving.

Christmas Day

25.12.21

Observed by billions of people around the world.  Christmas day initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West, lasts twelve days.

Kwanza

26.12.21 - 01.01.22

A 6 day long celebration originally created to give black people an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than that of a dominant society. based on African harvest festival traditions, Kwanza started in 1966 and culminates in a feast called Karamu.

New Years Day

31.12.21

Also known as ‘Old Year’s’ or ‘Saint Sylvester’s’ day in other countries, this day commemorates the last day of the western year and typically involves dancing, drinking, fireworks and general frivolity.

Ideation Centre

Our December activation idea would be for a beverage company that sells Yuletide-typical drinks (we’re thinking baileys, eggnog, champagne etc)


Crack open another one:


We would create custom, branded Christmas crackers each fitted with their own individual IoT. Each pack of crackers would come with one small robot fit to pour the drink in question.

The rest is fairly obvious; pull your cracker and see if your drink has been poured before you can work out where your hat is.

If you want to hear more about any of our ideation centre activations, drop us a line down below.

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