I, Robot... You, Robot... We, Robot
Runs Through February at the Ontario Science Centre's !DEA GALLERY
November 2011 (Toronto) – A science fiction staple, robots are part of our everyday lives, from assembling cars to performing surgery, from vacuuming our carpets to exploring Mars. Is humanity ready for a future filled with robots? Can machines ever really replace living things? Should they? The Ontario Science Centre invites visitors to explore such questions and more with I, Robot… You, Robot… We, Robot.
The exhibit of robotic ideas, art and inventions is now on display in the Science Centre’s !DEA GALLERY. Part of the Weston Family Innovation Centre, the gallery provides the opportunity for talented emerging artists and researchers to display innovative projects that blur traditional boundaries between art, science, design and technology.
“Robotics is typically considered the sole realm of science and technology, but we’re exploring the idea through art,” says Ana Klasnja, !DEA GALLERY Curator. “We’ve invited scientists, engineers and artists to provide their own interpretations of robot-human interactions in I, Robot… You, Robot… We, Robot.”
Exhibition highlights include:
“Robotella and Sharkee, Line-Following Racers” by Sobot Family
Created by the family of 10-year-old Allan Sobot, reigning Canadian National Robot Games champion, these micro-robots were designed to race around a challenging lined course, “seeing” the difference between the white arena surface and the black track line.
“Fork and Spoon Robot” by Samuel Zeid
This controlled-task robot is equipped with a fork and a spoon and performs such dinner tasks as tossing a salad, flipping a steak or dropping sugar into tea. Expect a mess.
“SnakeThing” by Nick Stedman
Designed to interact with people this modular robot explores the intimate and emotional relationships with those who hold it. When touched, it comes to life, writhing and wriggling in response to how it is held.
“Sessile” by Steve Daniels
This colony of kinetic pods responds to changes in ambient light levels by opening and closing limbs. Visitors can interact using their shadow.
“Talk with a bot” by Tianle Dai
Visitors use a keyboard to engage with REBECCA, a computer program that shows how a robot would respond if talking to you.
“Fbeisynthesis” by Andrew Kmiecik
This computer program allows visitors to play their face as a musical instrument by converting biometric data from a visitor’s face into sonic output using “robotic vision” techniques.
“Aquatic Robot” by Shapour Shahidi
This prototype is part of the designer’s ongoing work in biomorphic limbless locomotion for aquatic robots. Visitors can set the “fish” in motion themselves.
“Untitled (trains)” by Lorena Salome
Two robot trains have been hacked and reprogrammed making them no longer function under human control as originally intended. The result? Unpredictable behaviour and an unpredictable system where a new and different kind of interaction between the trains emerges.
“A Conversation” by Lorena Salome
In this interactive art piece, 10 switches (or solenoids) are linked with ten backlit images and ten sounds. How visitors interact with each switch determines what images and sounds will occur in this intimate world.
“Canine Rescue Robot CARD and DEX” by Alex Ferworn and N-CART
The fastest way to find trapped person amid a collapsed building is to use a Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) canine team. The dog carries a small mobile robot called DEX (Drop and EXplore) and is trained to bark when it finds a live body. That triggers the robot to drop and approach the victim, transmitting video and audio to the rescue team. Conceived at Ryerson University by Alex Ferworn and N-CART (Network-Centric Applied Research Team), it is being tested by the Ontario Provincial Police.
About the Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre delights, informs and challenges the communities we serve, enriching people’s lives and understanding through engagement with science of local, national and global relevance. Since 1969, the Ontario Science Centre has welcomed over 45 million visitors, with an interactive approach that was the model for Science Centres around the world. It is the public centre for innovative thinking and provocative dialogue in science and technology, aiming to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Please visit us at Ontariosciencecentre.ca. Facebook: www.Facebook.com/OntarioScienceCentre.Twitter: @OntScienceCtr. YouTube.com/user/OntarioScienceCentre.
Jefferson Darrell, Media Relations Officer
Ontario Science Centre
416-696-3154 | Jefferson.Darrell@osc.on.ca
Ontario Science Centre
416-696-1000 | Toll Free : 1-888-696-1110