The tweenbot, a cardboard-bodied, cheerful little bugger, is equipped with a flag stating its intended destination. Since it can only move forward, it depends on the kindness of strangers to guide it and remove obstacles. (Video) (Pics)
Tisch School of the Arts student Kacie Kinzer created the tweenbot as a kind of art experiment. In her words:
“I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself? To answer these questions, I built robots.”
In New York City, we might expect the smiley-faced tweenbot to be stabbed, stomped, mugged, or covered in graffiti, but every single one of the journeys was completed without a hitch. Pedestrians would stop and help the little guy when he was trapped against a curb or headed into traffic, and point him in the right direction.
I don’t know about you guys, but I like to think this project says more about the state of our nation than that stupid negative-nancy stock market. It’s just about the warmest, fuzziest thing I’ve seen since the last Muppet movie.