I just read about this project at the electro^plankton blog, and had to re-post it immediately!

I know a couple of clever folks who tutor courses in the ITP department of NYU, and was lucky enough to hang out and chat with them a bit whilst in New York last month. The kind of work they’re doing over there I find thoroughly absorbing and just a little inspirational.

This project (Kacie Kinzer’s “tweenbots”) has been making news in its own right over the last few days, and is a brilliantly realised experiment in complex systems, navigation and anthropomorphic empathy. Basically, this little robot can only head in one direction. It bears a little flag, upon which its desired destination is communicated. This is the sum total of the powers at its disposal in its attempt to navigate part of New York city.


Basically, it relies entirely upon interventions from the perambulating public in order to achieve his goal- people have to stop, take an interest, and then to redirect, realign, retrieve and rescue him if he is to have any hope of success.

Perhaps surprisingly, succeed he does – via the interventions of 29 individuals over some 41minutes in Washington Square park.


I guess depending in the kindness of strangers can be a viable wayfaring strategy – if you’re helpless/cute/robotic enough to make it work.

For more info, visit the site.

Images sourced from http://www.tweenbots.com