Antisocial Swarm Robots
Anna Dumitriu and Alex May (GB)
Antisocial Swarm Robots is a project by Anna Dumitriu and Alex May that explores how humans psychologically perceive the programmed actions of robots by projecting their own meanings and emotional responses onto them.
These tiny (almost cute) identical swarm robots do not appear to like each other, the walls of their pen, or the visitors’ efforts to interact with them. In fact, they are programmed to use their ultrasound detectors to measure if any physical object is in their ‘personal space’ and intelligently avoid it.
While the code running on each robot is the same, their creative emergent behaviours can appear complex and almost predatory. This installation exposes subtle and complicated emergent behaviours that humans will psychologically perceive as having a wide range of high-level priorities, and even emotions and desires. With the promise of socialised robots in our workplaces, environments, leisure spaces and homes, these automated relationships will need to be designed by the programmers, and understood by the rest of us.
Anna Dumitriu is a British artist whose work fuses craft, technology and bioscience to explore our relationship to emerging technologies. She is a visiting research fellow and artist-in-residence at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, and an honorary research fellow at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Alex May is a British artist exploring a wide range of digital technologies, most notably video projection onto physical objects, interactive installations, performance and video art. He is a visiting research fellow and artist-in-residence at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire.myrobotcompanion.com @annadumitriu @bigfug