Feb 13, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Media Academy Fellow Taylor Gandolfi to appear at SXSW exhibition

Media Academy alumna will exhibit "My Robotic Hand" project Gandolfi at the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change in 2016

An alumna of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change will showcase her work at an SXSW exhibition.

Taylor Gandolfi will appear at SXSW Create next month as a result of her project "My Robotic Hand".

SXSW Create is the hardware hacking and maker arm of SXSW. Gandolfi will be among drone users, biohackers, users of 3D printers and others who are developing solutions to shape our future.

Speaking to Salzburg Global, Gandolfi explained how the project originated. She said: "It was for my capstone project in grad school. I was going through ideas with my professor.

"I've always liked Arduino. I wanted to take that to the next level. I thought it would be cool if I had a robot in my portfolio."

Gandolfi applied to appear at SXSW Create in December. She found out her application was successful earlier this month.

She said: "I was super excited. I've always wanted to go to SXSW. It's the best tech conference around here.

"Being in the conference now, I get a badge to go to the whole thing after my exhibition."

Last year, Gandolfi attended the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: Migration, Media and Global Uncertainty.

Gandolfi said: "I love to travel. I studied abroad in my under grad and then I saw this project. Sanjeev Chatterjee, he was the professor from my school. I have always been interested in civic media. It's really something good to be involved in. 

"It was a really good experience."

Gandolfi was one of 70 students exploring the role of media literacy in engaging citizens, journalists, and government bodies in cross-cultural dialogue about migration and its representation in digital culture. 

During her time at the Academy, Gandolfi created a Twitter bot to counter against negative tweets about refugees.

Each time a negative tweet was detected, the bot would send a tweet in response, tagging the original sender, and informing them of a positive fact to change the sender's opinion. 

"My Robotic Hand" has a website which outlines how people can build their own 3D printed robot. 

Gandolfi lists the necessary components, plus a how-to guide split into four parts. If users follow this guide correctly, they will end up with a fully functioning robot.

SXSW Create takes place in Austin, Texas between March 10 and March 12. 

Gandolfi will appear in the Open Source Pavilion. This area, presented by Red Hat, will celebrate the amazing things happening with collaborative engineering, open source hardware, and shared design.