Irresolute robots

8520 South West 27th Place speaks about free will which demands that we make continuous decisions on which directions our lives should go.

We spend our lives with an endless string of problems to solve, contemplating what action to take on each, evaluating the consequences from the decision, and moving on to the next.


Six double headed robotic-rodents live in similar transparent houses, only the numerical address of each house is different. Each robot (made of two reconfigured Gemmy Dancing Hamsters) can walk forward or backward on a track in its house. The robots have been programmed with a unique set of eight numbers. These numbers are then used to determine what type of kinetic behavior they demonstrate. Some robots might appear to be confident in their decision, by walking valiantly back and forth in the house. While others might seem hesitant, staying in one place for a long period of time, or fidgeting between each decision. In the end, the decision is random, but it serves as a metaphor for the overall redundancy of our decisions.

The seed used to generate the random sequence of numbers is derived from an IR sensor located at one end of each house. Like our decision process, the sensor allows for external forces to influence the outcome of each verdict the robot makes. The robots pause at every new assessment, a small light pulsing on theirs heads, which makes them appear to be contemplating future action. The robotic-rodents scurry about, seemingly with a purpose, only too bump their heads on the extremes of their houses.

By Fernando Orellana (see also his other Tormented robots).

Video (via underthesun)

The work has just been awarded a Special Mention at Vida. Congrats to Roger Ibars and his Balanza de cocina que se pesa a sí misma (Kitchen scale that weighs itself).

Via ade*e*e/sinapsis.