manne the emo-dummy

For cryin' out loud!

manne crying


Have you ever been on the subway and realized a stranger was crying? What do you do in uncomfortable situations? Would you reach out to a total stranger? How would they respond? Manne's tears seem real, but how real is your comfort?



To begin, we had to cut some access holes in the back of the mannequin as well as drill some holes between the body cavity and the head cavity. This turned out to be the easy part (Warning: it's important to know what material you are about to cut into! Some mannequins are made of fiberglass and other slightly toxic badness).

water tank with pump placed inside mannequin

The next stage required a lot of experimentation and a replacement water pump (don't allow it to be submerged!). We constructed a water tank out of an extra large plastic nut container and made holes for the tubing and water pump. The tank gave us a ready supply of water and allowed an easy path for the waste water to flow back to from the head (thank you mLuck). The tubes that passed through the head had two "T" connectors siphoning some water into barely-open drip valves at the eyes. The water that made it through the drip valves slipped through Manne's "tear ducts" and gave the appearance of tears. The rest of the water made its way back into the water tank in her chest.

tubing and valves connect tank to eyes

The last part involved creating a switch mechanism. Using a qProx (thanks phaedra), wire mesh and a coax cable (thanks todd) we rigged Manne to respond to the capictance of the people interacting with Manne. Basically, when someone touches Manne in the areas near the wire mesh, that would stop the motor and her tears. This resulted in comforting Manne with hugs, wiping her tears and holding her shoulders.

wire mesh touch zone around shoulders

source code


people comfort manne with shoulder pat