[dorkbotdc-blabber] What do Zanelle and the beer drinking Bar Bot have in common?

Alex Barth mail at a-barth.info
Wed May 28 11:13:12 EDT 2008


Pindar van Arman started his presentation of Zanelle
http://www.zanelle.com/ yesterday with a question that I felt familiar
with: What's missing in all those robots like Asimo? What is it that
makes them ultimately not human like even though they walk on two
legs, play ball and talk to people?

Pindar's approach is to teach Zanelle a very human skill: creative
production, painting.

A couple of years ago I explored the same question but the outcome was
very different: I felt that the key was purpose. Humans haven't been
"built" for a particular purpose - we pursue our own goals in a social
context.

Together with a couple of friends from http://www.timesup.org I set
out to build a self sufficient robot. The result was the bar bot: a
robot that hangs out in a bar, scrounging money from patrons and
ordering a beer when there's enough in its (his, her?) pocket.

Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xypy61_GB_c

This project is partly a challenge to humanoid robotics (think: a
mouse trying to piss on an elephant's leg) and partly a comment on the
pursuit of happiness in bars (I drink and socialize, therefore I am)
and certainly not to be taken entirely serious. Still: I think two
very important aspects of the ultimate humanoid robot are -
independent purpose and social interaction.

And I might add: the thing needs to have a frickin face :) Don't
underestimate animism.

It was my first dorkbot dc yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed it, see you
all soon again,

Alex


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