True Love Tinder Robot

About

The True Love Tinder Robot will find you love, guaranteed. With Tinder open, you put your phone down in front of the robot hand. Then you place your own human hands on the sensors. As you are looking at each Tinder profile, the robot will read your true heart's desire through the sensors and decide whether or not you are a good match with that person based on how your body reacts. If it determines that you're attracted to that person, it will swipe right. If not, it will swipe left. Throughout the process, it will make commentary on your involuntary decisions.

Why

In a time when it's very normal for couples to meet online, we trust that algorithms on dating sites can find us suitable partners. Simultaneously, we use consumer biometric devices to tell us what's going on with our bodies and what we should do to be healthy and happy. Maybe it's not a stretch to consider what happens when we combine these things.

This project explores the idea that the computer knows us better than we know ourselves, and therefore it has better authority on who we should date than we do. In a direct way, the True Love Tinder Robot makes the user confront what it feels like to let computers make intimate decisions for us.

How

The robot is built with an Arduino, servos, a text-to-speech module, LEDS, a couple sheets of metal acting as galvanic skin response sensor, a bunch of wires, a box, and a speaker. The code is available on Github. You can also find my in-progress documentation on my ITP blog.

This is my final project for my Intro to Physical Computing and Intro to Computational Media classes during fall of 2015 at NYU ITP. Special thanks to my teachers, Tom Igoe and Lauren McCarthy.

I had many references and inspiration for this project, from art to code to circuitry. You can see those here.

Q&A

Q: Who are you?
A: I'm Nicole. You can learn more about me here. You can email me at hi@nicole.pizza or tweet at me at @nicolehe.

Q: How did you come up with this idea?
A: It came to me as I was sleeping, and I jolted up and wrote it down on my phone.

Q: Do you use Tinder?
A: No.

Q: How did you get the robot hand to swipe on a touchscreen?
A: It was surprisingly annoying. I cut a hole in the thumb with an exacto-knife, shoved a piece of metal through, covered the metal thing with a piece of rubber, and connected the metal to ground. The hand moves with two servos in a pan-tilt bracket.

Q: How does it read your body's reaction?
A: It reads the change in your galvanic skin response over a period of time. Basically, how sweaty your palms get.

Q: Is this scientific?
A: Definitely, absolutely, 100% no doubt.

Q: How can I try the robot myself?
A: Come to the ITP Winter Show on December 20 or 21! Or email me.

Press

  • Le Monde
  • The Young Turks (video)
  • Wall Street Journal (video)
  • i24 News (video)
  • International Business Times
  • New York Magazine
  • Tech Insider (video)
  • Huffington Post (video)
  • FlowingData
  • Xinhua
  • Maxim
  • Mic News
  • CNET
  • The Daily Beast
  • MTV
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  • Mashable
  • Engadget
  • MSN (video)
  • The Next Web
  • BBC
  • Daily Dot
  • Fusion
  • Technical.ly Brooklyn
  • Details
  • The Verge
  • Motherboard
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