The robots in this piece were compelling in an artistic context; they were at once frightening in their associations and alien-ness, and pathetic in their fragility, vulnerability and ant-like simplicity.
The spectator is confronted with five robots with whom they can interact. A video camera relays a robot eyeview of the event as a projection onto layers of gauze which envelope the viewers and they move through the maze like environment.
'Robotic Art and Interactive Theatre', article by Eduardo Kac featuring Room for Robots, in Convergence, Spring 2001, Volume 7, N. 1, 87-111
ROOM FOR ROBOTS
This interactive installation was created as a home for six robots. As visitors entered the robot territory, they were tasked with finding their way through a labyrinth inhabited by small robots which had been programmed to respond to people in various ways, through movements and actions.
Digital images of the visitors were projected onto screens around the robots’ rooms and these overlapped with footage of the robots themselves. Some of the robots responded to lights, carried by visitors, by approaching them or backing off. Another robot carried a camera which filmed interactions between the people and the machines.
This work was part of a research project led by Autonomous Intelligent Systems Lab at University of West of England and was created for the UK’s South West Arts Conference “Grasping the Nettle" in Exeter. Both VOID and AIS were interested in exploring programmed behaviours, both from performative and scientific positions.
This is one of a number of VOID projects which has explored the role of the robot in contemporary science and in fiction.
Visit the Autonomous Intelligent Systems Unit for more information about the robots.