This project by Niklas Roy is from 2010, so I’m a little late to the party, but I just love the simplicity with which it elicits audience interaction. No need for a big red button or instructions. If you just give people enough of a hook they will interact of their own accord. We’re intelligent inquisitive beings, I love when interactive art plays into that. If you let your audience discover things on their own, their sense of wonder will be much increased.
What’s happening here? A guy is brushing a cat via a remotely controlled robot but, the robot is more of an avatar since it is directly mimicking his movements plus he’s using a bunch of readily available or open source technology like Wiimotes and Kinect. What does all this mean? It = Awesome.
Artist Adrianne Wortzel discusses her use of arduino hacked Elmo-TMX’s. I think I might just have to run out and buy one and do some hacking of my own. Her work covers Telerobotics, a very noble pursuit.
Wow. Just wow. So amazing, but my favorite parts are that it has to put itself into object recognizing mode, it takes a while, and that it instantly forgets itself and has to run an recognition algorithm again and only then can say – aha! it’s me.
Courtesy of google. Amazing to see all of the mapping it is doing. I loved how it keeps track of every traffic light at intersections. It definitely seems to be aware of a lot more things simultaneously than I am while driving. But I do wonder what the legal implications are of even this test car driving around by itself. It will be quite amazing to see most cars on the road doing this in the not so distant future.
Amazing how quickly we anthropomorphize things. From my own experience I know it’s possible to forge an imaginary connection with a simple blinking LED, if the timing is right, but downright impossible not to anthropomorphize if it has a human face on it, no matter how many wires are sticking out of the back.
What I really enjoy about this video is the different perspectives that the two people in it bring to the robotic creation named Bina48. It’s the kind of disparate dynamic that often comes up when a creator of specific technology and the general public meet. It exists wether the tech in question is a new word processor or the latest humanoid robot, and is not much different from the dynamic between a parent and a stranger looking at the actions of a child.
The public/user go into the situation with certain expectations based on appearance and are usually disappointed as selective shortcomings of the technology bring to the forefront the fact that there are always limitations and our expectations always soar just beyond what is currently possible. On the other hand the tech creator/parent are acutely aware of all the limitations, they don’t push these boundaries, instead they are focused on the technological feat they just accomplished and marvel at the possibilities of whatever specific problem they just overcame. within these boundaries the technologist is able to tease out amazing things out of their creation, this is what they are so proud of when they are presenting something.
Unfortunately it’s really hard for these perspectives to meet. Of course it doesn’t help, when the tech in question responds to an inquiry on friendship, with a rant on world domination. awkward.
Just look at those amazing dancing robots! Dancing to Ravel’s Bolero no less.
<mini-rant> Is this the future of “live” performance? At first it’s amazing to watch all of these robots move in a synchronized fashion and I’m sure the effect is multiplied the more robots you would add, can you imagine a sea of thousands of them?
But after a while it becomes tedious to watch a machine go through the motions. They never tire, there is no discipline or hours of training and practice involved. As a performance I think it’s an interesting novelty but it lacks precisely the exact elements that make watching a live person perform so fascinating. I’m not saying robots have no future in performance but I don’t think this is it.</mini-rant>