Beggar, a robot for the materially deprived

Beggar, a robot for the materially deprived is constructed entirely from donated old computer hardware and spare parts that can be obtained at no cost.


Žicar steps up in the name of the materially deprived, while at the same time preserving their anonymity and dignity. It has access to areas normally off-limits to beggars, such as shopping malls and community events, where the richer part of the society frequents – the part of society that is only able to show some sympathy towards the marginalized if they communicate from a safe distance and via a technological interface.”

Beggar talks to you and passers-by can put money on his retractable arms. If you call the phone number hanging around its neck, a computer voice explains the purpose of the robot’s action.

People reportedly donated cca. 1200 tolars (c. 5 euro) an hour + food coupons etc. Money will be donated to help asylum seekers in Slovenia.

A work by Saso Sedlacek.

Technical realization of the robot: Pavle Sedlacek
Speech: Speaker 1.1 / Synthesizer of Slovene speech, Jure Leskovec, Jozef Stefan Institute.

“Beggar” (a robot for the materially deprived) is at the Kapelica Gallery, Kersnikova 4, Ljubljana. 17.1.-3.2.2006

Thanks Corto for the text and the images (courtesy of Sandra Sajovic).

Related: PaCo, the robot-poet in a wheelchair.