ArtBots, the robot talent show at ROBOT.

Big theme seemed to be robots that monitor their environment and output an interpretation. Drawing Machine 3.1415926 makes drawings based on what it hears. Slowscan Soundwave moves dozens of hanging plastic sheets according to the movement of sound waves in the air. Drums of War monitors war media coverage on the web and calculates the likelihood of war in various countries—the user plugs each of three drums into a country on a world map, and the drum beats according to how probable war is in that country. BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM.

Favorite robots:

Small Work for Robot and Insects. Crickets and a big spider-looking robot in the same cage. The robot listens to the crickets and responds with its own sounds and flashing lights. In an “indeterminate amount of time” the robot and insects learn to communicate with each other.

Lev. Enables the user to play a theremin using a regular piano keyboard. User pushes a piano key, and the robot’s arms move into the correct position around the theremin.

Automated Architecture Robot. Shoots jets of water to shape a block of ice. Stops every ten minutes for a “client review,” where the user can push one of four buttons to provide feedback to the robot.


July 12, 2003
Chelsea, Manhattan, New York