Pinokio - lamp, robot, friend?
Pinokio comes in the form of a humble anglepoise desk lamp, yet it redefines our experience of a lamp, a robot, or a computer algorithm.
Pinokio the lamp is imbued with the ability to be aware of its environment, especially people, and to express a dynamic range of behaviors.
As it negotiates its world, through the synthesis of the algorithm, electronic circuit and structural modifications; we the human audience can see that Pinokio shares many traits possessed by animals, generating a range of emotional sympathies.
We are here to raise the questions: “What if an algorithm is created not as an obedient tool, but to live? What if an algorithm utilises user input to gain awareness of a situation, rather than being controlled?” We therefore created this robotic computing project to explore the potential of a “living algorithm”.
Pinokio is by no means the most intelligent and self-sustaining entity. Nevertheless, we believe it is the expressive and behavioral qualities that makes Pinokio come alive. Just like Pinocchio the puppet who comes to life and confidently proclaims “I’m a real boy” – it is the irrepressible and seemingly instinctive impulse of living for its own sake in Pinokio that shines forth in poetry and magic.