ANDY MEETS ROBOT

“Kissing the future” on the streets of Zurich. Since some weeks robots have appeared on the streets of Zurich. I explore what this new project is all about as well as present some art which is inspired by robots.

Since some weeks you can spot robots on a the streets of Central Zurich robots. This new technology is being tested by Post AG, the national postal service of Switzerland, with renowned robots made by Starship Technologies.

Deutsche Version hier

Hello Robot Vitra Design Museum

Hello Robot Vitra Design Museum ©VB

The robots

In cooperation with the iconic luxury department store Jelmoli, the robots are currently offered as a free service. You can order a shirt, chocolate or a picnic basket and deliver it free of charge to the desired location in the city center (within 2 km). When the robot arrives at your location, you open the robot by means of a code sent by SMS and remove the desired packet.

The delivery robot travels on the pavement at a maximum of six kilometers per hour and can transport packages weighing up to ten kilograms. Nine cameras around the small vehicle are supposed to prevent the robot from driving onto people or colliding with a tram or bicycle.

The flexibility of it in climbing the pavement, and crossing streets is significant. It is “99 percent” autonomous with minimal human oversight, however at the moment it is still accompanied by a handler to avoid obstacles.

I personally think the robot’s appearance is elegant and futuristic, like a stretched out version of “Iron Man’s helmet”, however in no way disturbing. I could even describe it as friendly.

The feedback from the locals has been in majority positive. Here it should also be noted that the robots do not aim to replace the traditional post men. They will be more in place for delivery purposes such as food delivery, an area which they robots can disrupt and make more efficient. I am very much excited to see how they will be integrated into the existing logistics chain of Zurich.

 

5 artworks

Below I am presenting 5 artworks where robots play a central role.

1. Sun Yuan and Peng Yu “Can’t Help Myself”
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu "Can't Help Myself"

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu “Can’t Help Myself” (2016) — an industrial robot — at the Guggenheim Museum

 

2. Jordan Wolfson’s – Female Figure
Jordan Wolfson’s Female Figure (2014)

Jordan Wolfson’s Female Figure (2014) a life-size talking, moving robot, is now part of Eli and Edythe Broad’s massive contemporary art collection.

3. Nam June Paik, Søren Kierkegaard Robot, 1996
Nam June Paik, Søren Kierkegaard Robot, 1996

Artwork by Korean-American artist Nam June Paik: robot made out of old radio and TV sets. Nam June Paik, Søren Kierkegaard Robot, 1996. Photo: Frida Gregersen.

4. Shawn Maximo, Going Green, 2016
Shawn Maximo, Going Green, 2016

Shawn Maximo, Going Green, 2016 © Shawn Maximo Rendering | Fine Art Print 114 x 152 x 6 cm

5.  Zeugen – Morgan Rauscher
Zeugen – Morgan Rauscher

Toronto-based interactive artist Morgan Rauscher’s 2009 project, Zeugen, was made up of 32 human-cast faces rigged with a robotic device for face tracking. The idea behind the interactive work is the notion of seeing and being seen.

Take care & write to you soon.

Read the German version here

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Categories: Art

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