Friday, February 12, 2010

Tweenbots -- results may vary...

"Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."

I came across this link earlier and was not only captivated with the whole idea but pleasantly surpised at the results the creator observed.

It reminded me of a similar experiment I conducted back in 2004.  I took a plastic, toy robot (quite large but slightly-broken) and left him in the street outside my house, holding a sign reading, "I HAVE BEEN DAMAGED... PLEASE REPAIR."

I then left for the day, assuming that the robot would either still be there when I returned, or that someone (student or child) would take it away, under their care, off to live a new life.

When I returned, however, I was most dismayed to discover that Robot has been smashed to pieces. Not just cracked and broken, but smashed into a shower of many, tiny pieces so as to be completely unrecognisable.

My housemate had observed the results of the experiment and filled me in: apparently the Robot had been set upon by a small gang of children, who, not content with the damage done by their fists and feet, went away and returned with a cricket bat and used that to smash Robot into smithereens.

Posted via web from Army of Cats