I’d be willing to bet that the shadow puppet has accompanied many great technological advancements in our world. I know that my first instinct upon grabbing a light source of any kind is to make some sort of animal on the wall with my hand and I’m sure the caveman did the exact same thing upon discovering fire. Legend has it that Thomas Edison would entertain visitors to his parlor with an uncanny shadow of William Howard Taft1.
Not content to limit shadow puppetry to the visible light spectrum, Theo Watson and Emily Gobeille have produced this little wonder. The bird’s actions are dictated by the position of the user’s arm, and recognizes the elbow, wrist, fingertips and thumb.
Neat stuff. The video drags a bit in the middle but if you want to have a brief description of what they did to accomplish this, skip ahead to the two-minute mark.
1This is untrue. Thomas Edison never entertained anybody on visits to his parlor.