Robots are everywhere. We usually first encounter robots through media like cartoons and movies we see as kids. Robots are scattered around our everyday lives. Parts of many equipment like automobiles, washing machines, and ATM are already consisted of robots. And in the future, we will see robots that are even more intelligent, autonomous, and self-learning.
We attain a double-sided attitude towards robots as we observe their repeated development. Debates range from optimism to skepticism, utopia and dystopia. The ‘Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine’ exhibition suggests various perspectives on how we should consider robots through many questions.
This particular exhibition, held under the partnership between Hyundai Motors and Germany’s ‘Vitra Design Museum,’ takes place at the HYUNDAI MOTORSTUDIO BUSAN from August 3rd (Tues) until October 31st (Sun). This is the first exhibition since Hyundai Motors established partnership with Vitra Design Museum; it’s drawing much attention from the culture and art world as it’s the first release in Asia.
This exhibition looks into how design innovation deduces changes in roles of robots and how one should consider it from political, social, and ethical perspectives through various questions. Numerous robot-related questions are thrown at your perspectives on robots while it shows the robots and art works that make you think. Let’s see what kind of questions they are throwing at you.
Do you remember this robot? It’s ‘Robot Taekwon V.’ This is the robot that appears in director Kim Cheong Gi’s feature animation. It’s as tall as 56m and weighs 1,400t. It’s a fighter robot that mainly uses Taekwondo. This exhibition focuses on science and imagination and shows how there are various types of robots aside from robots that we are familiar with, such as a fighter robot in a cartoon, a Geminoid robot that looks exactly like a human, and a robot cleaner that makes our lives convenient.
Do you think we need robots in our lives? Perhaps you may think about the answer to this question through the work of an American photographer Eric, ‘Removed.’ Look at the three photos in the work. Did you notice anything out of ordinary? People are holding mobile devices in their hands, but they seem to be removed. Smartphones are actually robots. About 10 years ago, when we asked people "do we really need smart phones?", many answered "no." But where are we now? Do you think you can get by even just a single day without your smartphone? There’s definitely the need to think about whether the device created for communication between people are in fact driving us apart.
This cute square box robot is 'Blepdroid.' There is a small camera that’s hard to be noticed by our naked eyes where his eyes are. Blepdroid travels the world and interviews people. In a voice of a 6 year old boy, he asks questions like “who do you love?" and "what is the biggest mistake you made?". Surprisingly, people tell this robot things that they’d never tell other people. What about you? Could you trust this little robot?
This dual arm robot 'Yumi' can assemble small electronic parts. The name is a combined word of You and Me. This robot can move as sensitively as a human with its multi-functioning sensor attached dual arms and 14 rotation axis limbs. It can safely cooperate with people and do repeated assembly work through simple programing, which allows people to focus on value creating tasks.
Another technology that represents the 4th industrial revolution era is 3D printing, which is hugely influencing the industrial development. If there is a design, you can create what you need anytime, anywhere. The era where everyone can become a producer without special technology or expert knowledge has arrived. The chairs in the photo are all created with a 3D printer.
The yellow Sinterchair is especially noticeable in that it is the world’s first chair created with a 3D printer. It opened up the possibility of creating a chair that’s customized for you, anytime, anywhere. The process is simple as well. A computer connected to a 3D printer recognizes the client’s taste through a survey and implements the collected information onto the design program to deduct a design and produce the outcome with a 3D printer in just 24 hours.
‘Raising Robotic Natives’ robot, created by Stephan Bogner, Philip Schmidt, and Jonas Voigt, takes care of children. It’s consisted of an industrial robot arm that holds the milk bottle and a doll that goes on the robot arm so that it doesn’t scare kids. There are also a button to stop the robot in emergencies and a ‘My first robot story’ book to be read to children.
When a thing takes on emotion, it can communicate with people and even become our friend through mutual interaction. The so-called ‘humanized’ robots, referred to by robot technology experts, help us out like an old friend. How should people take in the life and death of such machines?
The title of this work, created by Chinese artist Zan-Lun Huang, is ‘THE WASTE.’ This robot is lying down before facing death, completely disintegrated. The disintegrated parts will become part of other robots and will be reborn. The companion robot Aibo launched by Sony in 1999 also went back to being parts of other robots after being discontinued. It made headlines when the funeral of an Aibo that acted as a companion for the elderly was introduced in the documentary ‘The family dog.’
Upon continuous research into human boy, we can expect artificial limb robots like 'Dynamic Arm Plus' in the future to function like our own body parts. At first, we will need time to get used to using a robot arm, but once the nerve of the robot arm is conveyed to the brain, one will be able to freely use it like one’s own. Hyundai Motor Group is leading the robotics in this field; they have created the medical wearable robot MEX (Medical EXoskeleton) to assist the walking of those who are paralyzed from the waist down. Various robots built for those with physical needs will help people live better lives.
The final stage of humans integrating with robots is when people live in machines. Swiss architectural firm Gramazio & Kohle created an innovative building with just 4 quadrocopter drones without the help of human hands nor cranes in France, 2011. They used only robots to move 1,500 foam blocks to build a vertical village structure that amounts to 600m in height where 30,000 people can live in. This was the case that showed the opportunity of people living in houses built not by humans but by robots in the future; it also marks the starting point of humans and robots coexisting as humans live in robots.
So far, we have looked into the questions and definition of the coexistence of robots and humans through artworks with Hyundai Motors and Vitra Design Museum; now we will look into the future of robotics, proposed by Hyundai Motors. This space is impressive in its walls and floors, which move via interaction with people’s movements. It’s the interactive media artwork ‘FLOW III,’ created by Hyundai Motor Group creative manpower platform ZER01NE’s artist group LOVOT LAB.
Hyundai Motors Robotics Lab leads robot research and development based on its philosophy of ‘Developing technologies for people.' Their service robot ‘DAL-e’ and walking assistance medical wearable robot shows the current status of life value enhancing robot technology. In addition, Hyundai Motor Group acquired Boston Dynamics this year to provide itself the driving forces that utilize robots as new future mobility means.
Robots are no longer things of a distant future but are everywhere in our lives. We will soon encounter the day where people and robots coexist. We hope this exhibition gives you a chance to prepare for the future. The HYUNDAI MOTORSTUDIO BUSAN exhibition is open for free, from 10 in the morning to 8 at night; so, come and enjoy the exhibition. It closes every first Monday of the month. As the Guru at the exhibition site regarding anything related to the exhibition for easy and detailed explanation.
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