Black Orb Just Wants Someone To Talk With


A team at the Royal College of Art has created Space Replay, a floating black orb that records and plays back conversations from passers-by. Space Replay is a neutrally buoyant helium balloon carrying a small payload. An Arduino, an Adafruit Wave Shield, and a small speaker make up the balloons’ brain. The team used the waverp library to record and play back sounds through their shield. 3 lithium coin cells power the system. A small vacuum formed plastic housing keeps all the internal parts together, as well as acts as a small speaker cone to amplify sounds entering and leaving the orb.

As the video shows, the final result is rather creepy. A slight breeze in a subway station caused the orb to move slowly down the hallway. One would think that space replay would freak a few people out, or at least entice the curious to touch it. Other than one amused elevator rider, the unflappable London public paid no mind to it. Maybe if it had some tea…

22 thoughts on “Black Orb Just Wants Someone To Talk With

  1. so, now we know what the early stages of Rover development look like… I wouldn’t think urban spaces would be good preparation for the deserts surrounding The Village.

  2. Anyone who thinks the girls reaction was real is an idiot, like she wouldn’t notice the cameraman in the lift (who changed angle like four times) while staring nonchalantly at the big floaty balloon.

  3. It’s interesting how stable they made it without any dynamic control of volume and pressure of the ball.

    Or the video is just “best attempts”, which would explain the lack of interest by the passerbys. It’s all staged.

  4. That is so cool and well creepy. (c:

    The next version will have a steel casing with a human head inside and armed with razor sharp knives, and there’ll be billions of them controlled by The Master.

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