Being a roboticist should pay well… given that most families will have a personal robot much like a toaster by two thousand ……, but in the meantime Heather Knight has decided that a Film Festival could be the best way to familiarize all of us with the upcoming robot supremacy…
The Second edition of this unorthodox celebration is about to take place next Saturday @ the 3LD Art and Technology Center and given that it barely costs $5… well… we thought you might want to know..
And opening the festival will be Sundance winner “Robot & Frank,” a story of a retired jewelry thief and his companion robot, starring Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon… and the best way to celebrate robotiveness. Although the festival is more about short films in general (from that feature robots as main characters) this second edition will also include a good list of parallel events like live performances, art installations, robot demos… etc.
And of course… the Botsker awards will be back… nothing more valuable than a good printed robot award.
We, like labs, love robots too. And we, like labs, have played extensively with virtual pets, on-line avatars, alter-egos and maxi-egos… even Maxis’ SIMS (or EA can’t remember) back when facebook, twitter and all our other mini-mes didn’t even exist.
We gave them all our own personality, we projected our likes and dislikes, virtues and vicious ideas on their actions… and the people at labs did too. So a few weeks ago they announced one of their many crazy pilot projects: Robotify.me, which as of today, it’s still on private-beta and only has one of those launch-rock register-pages.
A tamagotchi on facebook and on steroids? That sounds like Zynga’s next best hit! BBH Labs (the “try anything – try everything” arm of the Brit advertising giant BBH) are willing to give your online persona some independence and let that robot grow and shape itself based on your virtual you. Obviously, being the lab branch of an advertising agency the real interest behind is to figure out how to perfectly measure and quantify the data we pour each day on our networks and not only create a static picture (robot) of you at a certain moment, but allow that picture to become a movie: a living robot.
This is how they put it:
We hope robotify will tell us, because the other trick is this: the characteristics and features of your robot will be determined entirely and exclusively by your social network data. So if you post lots of pictures on instagram, your robot might grow a telephoto lens in its belly. If you click lots of odd links, you might develop tank tracks – negotiating rough digital terrain, you see.
Nothing out of the extraordinary for this first version right? Their ultimate objective (and we’d really like to see that) is for those robots that live within the on-line “Robosociety” and robotify.me to interact upon each other independently. Us, personally wonder if we would ever allow a virtual version of us, post, interact and decide on-line for us… even if it’s a persona that would replicate our behaviors with a 99% of accuracy.
Guess where K3loid short filmmakers BLR got their inspiration from? Not that they copied it or anything, they just asked Wellington concept artist Mr Aaron Beck to give them a few ideas and here are the cyborgs drawings the came up with that were then re-used for the SWAT robots.
Aaron is one of the fortunate artists working at NZ studio Weta Workshop (behind the biggest visual effects of some of the biggest blockbusters … Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Hellboy…etc), and when not working on those “super secret film shit” effects, he’s either imagining new versions of Chrysler’s E Platform (Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Barracuda..), working on his car related work “kustoms“, photographing spiders or …
… drawing funny robots (a lot of GIT & Evangelion influences here…) that delight and calm our anxiety for a new futuristic animated series. More artworks on his blog.
Matthew Allard keeps bringing far-away oriental stories to our little homes, and not only through Al Jazeera’s programs. Thank him for uploading his amazing docs & videos onto sharable communities.
His last project comes directly from Osaka diving into one of those ancient but always amazing professions: Karakuri craftsmanship. What?
Karakuri are those automata toys (self-operated machines) that go back to the Edo period ( 200-300 years) in Japan. Karakuri use nothing more than pulleys and weights to move & perform amazing tasks. Hideki Higashino is one of the few remaining craftsmen who is determined to keep the history and tradition of Japanese Karakuri alive.
A field cameraman master who had the privilege to shoot the entire film with the second production model of Sony’s F3, bringing once again his delicate style to one of those great “frame” stories. All worth a few minutes of your time.