Tweenbots is a new project by Kacie Kenzer. She explains:
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.
It’s a shopping cart pushed by a half human robot! Creator GroG explains:
I was interested in the concept of automating aspects of society that were considered not so “glamorous”. Robotics are often used in environments which are considered dangerous to humans. Deep sea exploration, nuclear cleanup and volcanism are some of the “higher profile” adverse environments which robots are used. My question was, “What about other dangerous or hazardous areas?”. For example, homeless people live in extremely dangerous environments. Shouldn’t there be automated equipment used by this strata of society? So, for this project I chose to implement an automated walking, homeless shopping cart.
The project consists of an eight-foot (2.5m) long industrial robot arm, costumed to resemble an enormous inchworm or elephant’s trunk, which responds in unexpected ways to the presence and movements of people in its vicinity. Sited on a low roof above a museum entrance, and governed by a real-time machine vision algorithm, Double-Taker (Snout) orients itself towards passers-by, tracking their bodies and suggesting an intelligent awareness of their activities. The goal of this kinetic system is to perform convincing “double-takes” at its visitors, in which the sculpture appears to be continually surprised by the presence of its own viewers — communicating, without words, that there is something uniquely surprising about each of us. Double-Taker (Snout) is currently active at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, where it will be on display through early August.
Check out this flickr set for behind-the-scenes photos of this project’s creation.