The scared robots

Upcloserobot_f I try not to use the blog simply to write posts that say, "Hey look what I read on the internet today."  That's sort of a form of just forwarding on chain emails, in a way.  However having said that after reading this article on Wired today I wanted to share it because, well it's cool.

Fernando Orellana is a Spanish artist whose exhibit consists of three robots.  From a distance it appears that the robots are communicating with each other by emitting "a series of calm, running-water-like sounds". 

When people approach the robots, however, they react. If someone gets close, the robot that senses a person crossing its RF scan will respond with what seems like curiosity. But when viewers get too close, the robots are designed to do what could only be called freaking out.

"The robot tries to get away," Orellana explained, "but it's impossible for it to get away, because it lives in its enclosure, so all it can do is spin around and try to get away from immediate danger."

So basically it's an art exhibit with robots freaking out.  Come on, how cool is that?  And while sometimes I have trouble divining the link between the art and the artist's stated theme of the piece ("I spray paint playing cards to show that we're all interconnected in life") or think the artist's theme is Crystal Pepsi stupid ("I photograph my friend smoking on a swing to show our duality") this is an exhibit theme I can get behind. 

The installation is Orellana's commentary on how humans have come to live with so much fear since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"For me, it's a piece about paranoia," he said, "and specifically, the paranoia that's evolved in the last four years: People being stuck inside of their shells, and wanting to look around, and at the smallest bit of danger, they recoil."

After playing a stupid amount of Knights of the Old Republic 2 in the last couple of days I want my own robot (or droid as it were).  Maybe one that freaks out everytime someone gets near isn't exactly what I'm wanting but maybe a Sony Aibo robot dog.  I guess I should have remembered to put that one my letter to Santa.