If you find the hallmarks of a lovely day at the park — tranquil breezes, chirping birds and beautiful landscaping — too dull, then perhaps artificially-intelligent, shape-shifting geometric robots are more your idea of leisure.
London-based architect William Bondin has created Morphs, solar-powered mechanical sculptures programmed to self assemble, interact with humans and crawl from various locations to adapt to their surroundings. He’s hoping the public will engage with these robots and he see’s that happening in parks.
Resembling a walking jungle gym, Morph is an acronym for Mobile Reconfigurable Polyhedra. It’s named after the slime mold physarum polycephalum, a brainless organism that searches for food by marking its territory with slime.
In order to protect its electronics, the Morphs are programmed to avoid shade and water. Instead, it forages dry, sunny areas for solar fuel, thankfully without leaving behind a slimy residue. The creature is also equipped with a Bluetooth network that pinpoints their location and whether or not they’re being engaged by a human.
“Morphs are very low-level creatures in terms of computation, and have much less computational ability than a mobile phone. Instead, they rely on their environments in order to display a level of self autonomy, Bondin told Mashable in an email. “These playful robotic creatures will encourage the public to choreograph them into dance routines, assemble them into complex sculptural geometries or else play music at them, which they will play back over time.”
Bondin currently has a working prototype, however it only appears to be a single link in what will become a larger figure, which he hopes to have ready by 2015. Until then, you might want to enjoy a day at your local park before the robot invasion.
Credit: William Bondin