Robotarium X

Robotarium X is the first zoo dedicated to artificial life
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Gizmodo

The Robotarium X at Jardim Central (2007), Alverca (Vila Franca de Xira), Portugal, is the first of its kind in the world.

Conceived for a public garden it is constituted by a large glass structure containing 45 robots, most powered by photovoltaic energy and a few plugged to the ceiling or to the ground.

The robots are all original, created specifically for the project, representing 14 species classified by distinct behavior strategies and body morphologies. Obstacle avoidance, movement or sunlight detection and interaction with the public are some of the robots skills.

Robotarium X, the first zoo for artificial life, approaches robots very much in the way as we are used to look at natural life. We, humans, enjoy watching and studying other life forms behavior and, sadly, also to capture them. However, in this case, although the robots are confined to a cage it can be said that, not like animals, they enjoy it. In fact the Robotarium is their ideal environment with plenty of sun, smoothness, tranquility and attention. There are no fights or aggression and the only competition is to assure a place under the sunlight.

Robotarium X is also an art work of a new kind of art that realizes a critical questioning of knowledge and culture. Notions like nature, life, the artificial, machine, art, culture and science, are challenged by this display.

Structure

Inspired by the Johnson Solid named ‘Bilunabirotunda’ the structure is made of steel and glass creating a very transparent environment that allow for a good visibility from the exterior and plenty of sun exposure for the robots.
The space inside is around 22 m2 with 4 meters at its higher point.


The Robotarium X was dismantled in 2014 due to vandalism.