Zeitgenosse is a semi-autonomous balancing robot carrying a 18ft flag pole and a flag made of green-screen fabric. The vehicle is controlled by a micro controller (knee) and mobile phone (brain), working together to balance gravity and intentions specified by GPS coordinates provided by visitor's mobile devices. Wind and passers-by temporarily adopt the vehicle until it is abandoned, returning back to its dedicated spot. P2P mobile communication (BT communication) allows to adopt the vehicle, in which case the flag starts to follow that user, symbiotically hijacking the mobile camera (eyes) for its own flag texture. The semi-automatic decision-making process is tracked and shared online both in terms of live numeric controls and first-person flag perspective. The piece automates both patriotism and pathos, while illustrating challenges of robotic automation in public spaces.
[ 00:01:28 ] formats: | → SD