Tweenbots: Cute Beats Smart - O’Reilly Radar
An ITP student set out to build a robot that can go from one end of Washington Square Park to the other. She did it by building a “tweenbot” that has a smiling face and a label describing it’s mission. The robot can only travel in straight lines, and relies upon the help of strangers to set it in the right direction.
In her words: “Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, “You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.””