Robots who need your help!: Tweenbots by Kacie Kinzer

Posted by Ian on May 14, 2009 in blog | No Comments

Sometimes people are just so human-centered. Rushing here and rushing there. Never thinking about all the little robots out there that are struggling to make their way through the world.
Interventionist and robot-activist Kacie Kinzer is studying and hopefully rectifying this through her Tweenbots. Taking to the streets of New York, Kinzer’s Tweenbots (human-assisted robots) struggle to overcome obstacles and avoid danger and need our help to make it through their journey.
Both deeply cute and intellectually insightful, Kinzer’s Tweenbot project explores the social energy that can be activated through simple interventions and directed towards a single goal. As Kinzer rightly points out, it perhaps is supported by her robots being anthropomorphic (human-like), and it would be interesting to see if there was a different response to robots who looked less cute and approachable. That the robots are human-like and ‘cute’ did produce some perhaps unique anecdotes about human-robot interactions. Kinzer reported that at one point a man corrected the robot, saving it from a threatening path, saying to it – ‘You can’t go that way. It’s towards the road’.
The first of Kinzer’s adventurers recently completed a journey through Washing Square Park (see the video below). It took 42 minutes and 29 people intervening for the robot to complete the journey.
See future outings of Kinzer’s robots here.

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