More than fifty robots from Korea, Japan and China including ‘art robots’ to stimulate people`s imagination, ‘companion robots’ to share daily lives and ‘robot bands’ with the possibility of being used for entertainment have gathered at Nabi.
Digital art-specialized art gallery, Art Center Nabi (Director: Soh Yeong ROH, 'Nabi' hereinafter) holds ‘Robot Party’ with the subject of ‘communication between human beings and robots’ from 17th December to 16th January next year at Tajakmadang located in Jangchung-dong, Seoul.
Director ROH explains the planning intention of suggesting new roles of emotion robots as the communication media to appease human beings’ loneliness in the modern society by helping them express their feelings, adding that Nabi started the concerned research two years ago.
Nabi, which has worked on this project since 2013, has been operating ‘Nabi Lab’, a robot producing place since early this year. At this exhibition, twenty robots created by Nabi Lab are displayed, bringing about special expectations.
All the robots are out of the ordinary while a robot bear ‘Ted’ talks adult only jokes, and a robot starts to run away when a person tries sitting on it. You can also meet a four-armed robot drummer, a keyboard player ‘beatbot’ that is a hand itself, and a robot arm of industrial use which paints with light.
To the question “Why did Nabi make such robots that do not seem quite useful?”, Nabi cited the words by the video artist Nam June Paik as the answer. “We will show the fact that techniques can exist for humans and stimulate the audience’s imagination.”
Drinking alcohols is one of the essences for a party. You will meet ‘Magenta W’, a robot making ‘bomb shots’ by piling up glasses at Robot Party. This robot was produced by Representative Ki-Hyun KWON of ‘Magenta Robotics Co., Ltd.’, which once developed military robots. What we should remember is that the skill of holding a cup was actually developed for aiming at the enemy more accurately in the past.
Beside “Magenta W’ is sitting a robot named ‘Drinky’ hurrying Magenta W into giving a glass of alcohol with his smiley face. He doesn`t speak but pesters with moving hands and arms holding a glass of soju. ‘Drinky’ is a robot that drinks soju alone or becomes a drinking companion. He usually drinks a shot at once when the glass gets full.
A Japanese company ‘Tasco’ shows ‘MMI’ which is a robot band playing the guitar and drums. This band does not forget to say ‘Arigato’ after the performance. ‘Tasco Co., Ltd.’ was separated from the famous artists group, ‘Maywa Denki’. Its robots draw great attention in the field of art and performance.
Robots produced by normal office workers are also displayed at Robot Party. ‘Robot makers’ from various fields including students, workers and artists show great brilliance. ‘Makers’ mean those who perform creation and production based on reproducible open-source technologies. These people invented robots by utilizing open-source technologies such as ‘Robot Toy’ communicating with users anywhere with the voice recognition technology of Alexa, the artificial intelligence developed by Amazon Corporation and ‘Trash Can Robot’ vomiting trashes like unloading one’s mind.
Eun-Jeong PARK, Team Manager of Art and Science of Nabi, says “The number of makers who make robots on their own and share them with each other is increasing geometrically.”, and added that “Their activities have lots of possibilities as a cultural root for the creative economy.” Let`s check the possibility at Robot Party. End.