15 May 2009

Protest Robots ~ Not AntiBots, Civic ShoutBots!

Iconoclastic Media Lab Professor Chris Csikszentmihalyi -- Director of both the Computing Culture group and the cross-disciplinary MIT Center for Future Civic Media -- just put the shout out for undergraduate MIT researchers to work on multiple protest robots (yeah... probots)! Hilarious! And yet also quite needed. I'm personally quite non-plussed by the emphasis among botco's -- like iRobot and others -- on "WarBots" -- the growing set of robots with armaments or otherwise engaged in the offensive arts. I've known Chris since his first weeks at MIT (when we met at the Muddy), but he first really stood out for me with his students work on the Afghan Explorer -- a tele-operated, robotic reporting system that provides images, sound and interviews in real time to get the scoop behind enemy lines in combat conditions. And that just scratches the surface of what he and Computing Culture group are about...

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