Paparazzi Bots, 2009 – Ken Rinaldo
Image by jaygoldman
Paparazzi Bots are autonomous robots standing at the height of an average human. Comprised of multiple microprocessors, cameras, sensors, code and robotic actuators they move at the speed of a walking human, avoiding walls and obstacles while using sensors to move toward humans. They seek one thing, to capture photos of people and to make these images available to the public elevating them to celebrity status through this momentary anointing. The robots also achieve celebrity status through their association to the famous people at Nuit Blanche that are captured by the Paparazzi Bots. Each Paparazzi Bot can make the decision to take the photos of particular people, while ignoring other humans in the exhibition, based on things such as whether or not the viewers are smiling or the shape of their smile. When the robots identify a person they stop, automatically adjust their focus and use a series of bright flashes to record that moment.
The recent emergence of social networks and their ability to connect people through software is a prime example of the co-evolution of humans and their intelligent machines. Our social need for technologically mediated connectivity and social space is easily exploited in this new critical juncture in our emerging machine human-relations.