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Author Topic: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots  (Read 6038 times)

app103

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Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« on: April 12, 2009, 11:56:59 AM »
If you saw a little lost robot rolling down the street, would you help it reach its destination?

Kacie Kinzer wondered that, and built little robots to set loose in New Your City, to find out.

Quote
In New York, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself? To answer these questions, I built robots.

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.


mouser

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 12:04:08 PM »
Great stuff..  :)

cranioscopical

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 12:39:19 PM »
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.

Hey! Were I able to obtain one of those flags I could go out again!

nudone

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 02:10:06 PM »
Hey! Were I able to obtain one of those flags I could go out again!

 ;D fantastic.

Deozaan

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 02:35:34 PM »
Cute.


Lashiec

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 09:02:46 PM »
How sweet :)

mouser

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2009, 10:48:17 PM »
how long until the artist gets arrested for creating "Devices Which Could Be Used for Terroristic Purposes" ?  :P

SKesselman

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 01:52:13 AM »
How long before we're robot-dependent humans??
(Can I have mine now? I could use some help...)

robothelp.jpgTweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
-Sarah

40hz

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 01:48:46 PM »
how long until the artist gets arrested for creating "Devices Which Could Be Used for Terroristic Purposes" ?  :P

Being charged with littering is much more more likely.  ;)

One thing that didn't completely surprise me was this:

From the website www.tweenbots.com/:
Quote
Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, "You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”

Having spent my share of time in NYC, I've found that the majority of the 'natives' I've met are remarkably sympathetic and helpful towards people & pets in need of assistance. Being nice to a cute little cardboard bot strikes me as a natural extension of that behavior.

NY is also one of the few American cities I've ever been in where asking for directions is seldom a problem. They seem to enjoy pointing people in the right direction. (I've even had people come up and ask me if I needed help when it was obvious I was either lost or looking for something.) I get the feeling that most New Yorkers are rather proud of how well they know their way around town.

It would be interesting to try this experiment in some other cities and compare the results.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 01:59:07 PM by 40hz »

nudone

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 04:11:50 PM »
It would be interesting to try this experiment in some other cities and compare the results.

i'd like to see it done in the UK. and, i'd hope that i'd be proven wrong that some little sod wouldn't jump on the tweenbot within about 5 minutes of the experiment starting.

SKesselman

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 05:18:25 PM »
It's a cute little experiment, but it's also a cute little robot.
Not exactly rocket science to figure out that people respond differently to things they find endearing.
How eager are people to help an unattractive robot? Not pitiful unattractive, just ugly.
I think comparing the two experiments might be interesting.

Having spent my share of time in NYC, I've found that the majority of the 'natives' I've met are remarkably sympathetic and helpful towards people & pets in need of assistance. Being nice to a cute little cardboard bot strikes me as a natural extension of that behavior.

Yes, New Yorkers are great. Over the holidays, I dropped my credit card somewhere in the city. When I called the bank 2 hours later, someone had already called my bank and reported it 'lost' for me. Had they just thrown it out, I would have felt lucky. But calling it in lost for me, too? Very nice:Thmbsup: I make no apologies for generalizing; I'm not sure about other areas but, overall, New Yorkers are definitely more likely to help a stranger than Californians. It would be nice to see an East coast/West coast experiment, or even for other countries, to see who really is the most/least helpful to the average stranger in need. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong about California.
-Sarah

gpetrant

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2009, 06:59:54 AM »

And so began the rise of the machines from a social experiment gone horribly, horribly wrong.
 
Shywolf

nudone

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Re: Tweenbots: A Social Experiment with Human-dependent Robots
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2009, 08:40:43 AM »
 ;D far more terrifying than the Terminator.