‘Thingamabobas’ is a playful, sensory experience where participants meet and interact with a circus troupe of performative hybrid mechanised sculptures crafted from sustainable and recycled materials. The installation space is a place of wonder and draws on the absurdities of British artists’ Heath Robinson and Rowland Emett’s contraptions, Calder’s Circus (1930’s), automatas, object theatre, puppetry and circus acts.

These artificial life forms have a whimsical personality with embedded artificial intelligence (AI) and capabilities for touchless interaction that responds to the audience's movements. The sculptures aesthetics and movements will reference traditional circus acts; clowns, acrobats, trapeze acts, tightrope walkers, jugglers, contortionists, trampolinists and unicyclists. 

29th May -6th June 2021 Lakeside Arts, Nottingham, UK.   Book your tickets here

around the horse

How to create interactive and engaging touchless experiences

Our previous installations have relied on tactile materials and touch technologies to engage young audiences. In  Thingamabobas we are experimenting with new approaches by using touchless sensing, dance, machine learning, robotics and Heath Robinson like contraptions. Exploring touchless sensing technologies and AI will serve as a foundation for our upcoming and future work.  We are exploring gesture tracking, proximity sensors, Infrared sensors, and pressure sensors (foot based interaction) for designing participatory experiences.


R&D Experimenting with machine learning

Thingamabobas posts

Investigating the creative possibilities of smart moving sculpture that can learn and be inspired by a dancer’s movements. During our R&D we explored open source machine learning tools developed by Google Creative Lab.



Creative Team

Roma Patel                        Artistic Director & Designer

Rachel Ramchurn            Artistic Director & Designer

Michelle Reader               Artist

Wayne Walker Allen         Composer

Liz Clark                             Choreographer

Graham Elstone                Production Manager

Tom Hall                             Artist and Production Manager

Imogen Melhuish             Scenic Artist and Costumemaker

Richard Statham               Lighting Design

Feng Zhou                          Robotic Programmer

Robin Shackford               Creative Technologist

Mithun Poozhiyil               Robotic programmer



Interested in commissioning a design, hiring Thingamabobas or running an inventors workshops for an event? Contact us with any questions or queries and we will get back to you shortly.