G.I.R.L. Tech | 2009

Robotic installation


Lynxie is a robotic painter installed at the Childrens Museum of Pittsburgh. It was designed to teach young children the basic concepts of robotic programming through interaction.

The interface was designed to be easy-to-understand and approachable without hiding any of the truths of robotics from the children.

Key Highlights

  • Approachable layout that's kid-friendly, but still natural-looking
  • Tells a story through interaction to teach kids about robotics


The Children’s Museum wanted a stand-alone installation that required minimal upkeep from their staff. It was also important that the installation be “honest” and not hide any of the truths about robotics to the kids.

Robotics, b/c of its many fine parts and mechanical look, can be intimidating to kids, so we aimed to present our robotic arm in a friendly manner by designing its display casing.

The robot arm was left alone, but the case was designed to look like a drawing easel. With bold shapes, it was approachable and the children who are already familiar with markers or paintbrushes would know what to do with the touchscreen interface.

The back side of the robotic arm was left open and covered by a sheet of plexiglass. This allowed kids to see the insides of their new machine and trace the data from the drawing surface to the computer in the back and to the robotic arm, which would come to life to recreate their drawing.

lynxie's installation setup

Lynxie - the final product being set up and tested in the studio

lynxie's inner workings behind the cupboard

The mechanics behind Lynxie that are closed off from access by the kids and visitors at the museum. Also storage area for extra paint markers.