High-density foam, acrylic, English oak
Robot 1: 4 x 35 3/8" (10 x 90 cm) diam., Robot 2: 19 3/4 x 19 3/4" (50 x 50 cm) diam., Robot 3: 15 3/8 x 8 x 36 3/4" (39 x 20 x 93.3 cm), Robot 4: 32 x 18 7/8 x 6" (75 x 48 x 158 cm)
As technology advances and robotic experiments—ranging from the pragmatic to the exquisitely absurd—abound, designers are taking a closer philosophical look at our future life and interaction with robots. Will they be subservient, intimate, dependent, equal? Will they take care of us or will we be the ones to take care of them? Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby look at robots as individuals with their own distinct personalities and quirks, thinking that devices of the future might not be designed for specific tasks but instead might be given jobs based on behaviors and qualities that emerge over time. Robot 1 is very independent, but it needs to avoid electromagnetic fields, as these might cause it to malfunction. Robot 2 is very nervous; as soon as someone enters a room it turns to analyze them with its many eyes, becoming extremely agitated if the person gets too close. Robot 3 is a sentinel; it uses retinal scanning technology and demands that the user stare into its eyes for a long time to be recognized. Robot 4 is very needy and depends on its owner to move it about. It is also extremely smart and has even evolved its own language, although you can still hear human traces in its voice. The robots are part of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.