I went to the Artbots 2005 exhibition yesterday. It was the last day, by which time the robots, and the artists, were a little frayed around the edges. I tried to ask one of them about the circuit bending nature of his work – randomly short-circuiting the RAM on a PC’s video card – but he’d clearly had enough, didn’t know what I meant and could hardly care. Other exhibits were broken or malfunctioning, or absent.
It was fun to see how few of the exhibits were actually robotic, and were more electronic in nature. Is it robotic if there is no feedback mechanism, if you are simply controlling motors from a PC? The results can be interesting, but I wouldn’t call that robotic. One good example of how it can be was the robot that drew pictures on the wall, such as a field of grass.
The workshops for kids were in full swing, with a MIDI workshop sending random bleeps and piano hits through the air. It’s great to get kids building, and there’s a related project for adults too: Make magazine, which I would get if postage wasn’t so expensive. I’ll have to make do, pardon the pun, with the Make Blog feeds in my RSS reader.