Robotic installation, 2011


The design of the experiment produces an aleatoric composition of movements that originate from simple behaviors of a number of robotic modules. The project was developed during an artist-in-labs residency at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich. The design of the behaviour of the robots is inspired by design principles found in UFOs and artificial intelligence. The former condenses in a smooth and almost weightless locomotion of the robots. The latter in the 'morphological computation'1 as found in the approaches to Artificial Intelligence represented for instance by Rodney Brooks or Rolf Pfeiffer. Incontrast to computation-intensive process used in conventional AI, this approach focuses on the exploration of materials and their properties in specific milieus to obtain intelligent behaviour.

In this project the morphology of the robots is used to generate complex behaviour based on simple principles. Analogously to self-assembly, locally programmed, simple behavior generates an emergent pattern in the form of a composition of movement of robotic modules.

1Pfeifer et al. (2007) develop the term "morphological computation" to designate the idea that part of the computational task is taken over by the morphology, the mechanical ‘intelligence’ of the robot found in the physical properties of the materials.


Pictures (zip|6.9MB)

[Present at]

Robots on tour Event im Science Café Zürich, CH, 2013.


Airtable (self-made), Mini robots with div. electronic (self-made); 80 H x 180 W x 180cm D

Thanks to: Artist in Labs Programm, Naveen Kuppuswamy, Shuhei Myashita, Artificial Intelligence Lab Zürich.

Photos courtesy of Thorsten Strohmeier.