Robot Garden (May 2009)

 

Konstfack Exhibition 2009

 

The Robot Garden is an environment for mediation and a meeting point where the public is invited to participate in the debate on our future with robots. A series of robots inhabit a garden with small plants. All robots are of the same type and have the same kind of behaviors.

The robots cruise around and constantly capture the light situation at their current locations within the boundary of the garden. From time to time a machine encounters a plant. When this happens the robot checks the light level at the position of the plant and compares the sensor value with the machine's prior sensed and memorized data. If the robot thinks that the plant could be at a better place within the garden, where there is more light for the plant to vegetate, the robot relocates the plant forward towards that spot. Otherwise, if the robot decides that the plant is already in a "good" spot according to the robot's stored information, then the machine bypasses the plant and continues its wandering and the sensing of ambient light. Over time more plants will be placed in the sunnier parts of the garden.

The garden is situated in a natural setting where sunshine and other natural causes, such as shadows and reflections, provide an ever changing light condition for the system to constantly readapt and reorganize its environment. Since there are multiple robots cooperating together within the garden, multiple events occur simultatiously in different locations. The result is an open-ended atmoshperic experience.