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June 22, 2007

The Robot Zoo is Now Open!


Robotarium X

Artist Leonel Moura advertised his latest project, the Robotarium X, with a grand announcement that 'The first zoo dedicated to artificial life is now open at Alverca, Portugal.' In a park in this small village near Lisbon, Moura has installed a large-scale steel glass construction inspired by the bilunabirotunda, one of the famous geometrical forms known as 'Johnson's solids.' Since June 12, forty-five different robots have lived within this structure--most powered by photovoltaic energy. All of them are original creatures specifically designed by Moura and his partners, Carlos Nogueira and the company IdMind, for the 'Robotarium X.' They represent fourteen species differentiated according to body morphology and behavioral patterns. Some resemble small vehicles similar to those currently used in space exploration; others are similar to small animals, insects, and plants; while others are distinct from anything found in Nature. Many are responsive to humans, and execute subsistence-related activities. Informed by the enlightenment movement's educational displays (like the aquarium) and mixing new technologies and his past experience as a user of robotics within an art context, Moura created an experimental, futuristic work that constitutes a step forward in the ongoing relation between humans and machines that marks the beginning of the twenty-first century. - Miguel Amado, Rhizome News.

Posted by jo at June 22, 2007 09:04 AM