In a captivating blend of technology and artistry, three robot dogs crafted by Boston Dynamics are stealing the spotlight in an exhibition at Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria. Reminiscent of the robotic canines featured in the Netflix sensation “Black Mirror,” these creations, unveiled in 2015 and initially viral, are now under the artistic guidance of Agnieszka Pilat during their four-month residency.
Artist Agnieszka Pilat, the curator of this robotic showcase, oversees the mechanical trio—Basia, Vanya, and Bunny. With a nod to the “Black Mirror” inspiration, these robotic companions use docking stations resembling beds for their “sleep” periods and cubes embedded with QR codes that convey their location.
Expressing gratitude for the collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, Pilat emphasizes the nuanced future technology can offer humanity. Pilat, treating one of the robot dogs as a pet and taking it for walks around New York, dispels the notion of impending robotic dominance. “They’re awkward, like little kids,” she notes, challenging the fear of an imminent robotic takeover.
Boston Dynamics’ collaboration with AI software company Levatas integrates OpenAI’s ChatGPT into the Spot robots, enabling verbal communication with humans using Google Assistant’s voice technology. While not commercially available, these robots can identify leaks, spillage, and equipment damage in industrial settings.
Pilat’s unique perspective on machines as humanity’s children, highlighted during her residency at Boston Dynamics and later at Space X, underlines her commitment to showcasing the evolving relationship between art and technology. This isn’t the first time robot artists have graced the stage, as evidenced by the humanoid robot Ai-Da’s exhibition in 2021 at the Design Museum in London, showcasing its artistic prowess with camera eyes, a robotic arm, and AI algorithms.
As technology and art continue to intersect, the latest exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria stands as a testament to the harmonious integration of robotics into the creative realm, challenging preconceived notions and paving the way for a future where machines contribute to the rich tapestry of human expression.