Thinking Tech

World class robot art includes a telepresent ocean

Posting in Technology

A new multi-artist show in Tokyo features world class robotic art, including a tele-present ocean.

We are often followed by cameras as we go about our daily routines, getting cash, buying milk, throwing underwear into laundromat dryers, yet most of us routinely forget this fact. Want to get a more intense feeling of what it’s like to be tracked? Now through to December 18 you have your opportunity to let robots get closer to you at an art installation, Desire of Codes, at the InterCommunication Center in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.

The artist Mikami Seiko set up walls covered with small robotic arms, some include sensors and cameras that follow your every move. The composite image they capture, apparently along with images from other surveillance cameras around the globe, is then projected on another wall within the space. This is high-end robot art.

Seiko’s show is part of a larger multi-artist show, Open Space 2011. According to a post in CNET one of the more striking installations from this show is David Bowen’s Tele-present Water installation. Telepresence refers to the use of various technology to give one the sense of being in another location. Top notch videoconferencing at the office could be one boring example. Bowen’s water installation is more spectacular. It eerily mimics the movement of an actual ocean using real-time data of wave movement. Made of tubes suspended in midair, it’s surprising how realistic it is. Watch the video here:

tele-present water from david bowen on Vimeo.

From CNET’s post:

As Bowen explains on his Web site, "Wave data is being collected in real-time from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoy station 46246, 49.985 N 145.089 W on the Pacific Ocean. The wave intensity and frequency is scaled and transferred to the mechanical grid structure resulting in a simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of water from halfway around the world."

Bowen has also created tele-present wind:

Even though humanoid robots reach the uncanny valley of creepiness as they half resemble real humans, Bowen's tele-present water installation at Open Space 2011 prove that we also have a bit of an uncanny valley with robots that resemble water.

[via CNET]

Christie Nicholson

Contributing Writer

Christie Nicholson produces and hosts Scientific American's podcasts 60-Second Mind and 60-Second Science and is an on-air contributor for Slate, Babelgum, Scientific American, Discovery Channel and Science Channel. She has spoken at MIT/Stanford VLAB, SXSW Interactive, the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, the Space Studies Board and Brookhaven National Laboratory. She holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Dalhousie University in Canada. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure