Glowing robotic tentacles populate this Petting Zoo

(Credit: Minimaforms)

If you swing by the Petting Zoo in Orleans, France, don’t expect to see goats. The robotic “pets” that reside there hang from the ceiling glowing like so many “Tron” worms.

The neon-lit creatures in this “artificial animalistic environment” by experimental architecture and design firm Minimaforms change behavior according to their interactions with visitors.

They’re alive! (Click to enlarge.)

(Credit: Minimaforms)

Stephen and Theodore Spyropoulos, the brothers who founded Minimaforms, might call their pets “robotically enabled agents,” but before long, their attributes start to look lifelike. Using motion-tracking cameras and data scanning, they sway in the direction of observers, for example; move toward or away from their touch; and change colors (red, apparently, means anger; do not anger the wiggling robotic tentacles!). Inactive observers can even stimulate disinterested, bored responses from the writhe-prone creatures.

The project, like others by Minimaforms, explores behavior-based design systems. It’s on display at the … [Read more]

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