The aim of PATHOS (Poetic Animatronics Through Hands-On Systems) is to develop an online, open-source animatronics platform that enables nontechnical people like artists and designers to access the medium of robotics, and thereby tap into the language and aesthetics of physical motion and response. It was born out of two decades of technical struggle by art duo Pors & Rao in crafting a language of affective motion and response. Wyss Zurich was founded with the aim of translating scientific discoveries into the public domain by combining innovations and skills from both the research labs of University of Zurich and ETH Zurich –– merging two very different cultures and ways of thinking.

The “Wyss Zurich Heart” mascot imagines the institute as two unique entities that combine through a rhythmic interaction. The viewer will make the heart beat faster by approaching it, just like we try to energize the world through our projects, their research, and breakthrough technologies. This project is an early example of a PATHOS enabled interactive public work which is created by a non-engineer-Industrial Designer, Lea Pereyre. She used PATHOS mechatronic and software modules developed by a small team of engineering experts at Wyss Zurich and other Applied
Engineering Universities in Switzerland.