These two robots totally love each other. Occasionally, they can't stand each other. Sound familiar? And, just like humans, the sociable pair reacts to others around them. Meet Emily and Vincent, the robotic brainchildren of German artists.
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Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler and Carolin Liebl worked together on the project, which became an installation simply called "Vincent & Emily." The two media artists first created the robots last year. Each spindly robot is mounted on a box and contains motors, gears and sensors that allow it to move around at human-height. Their "heads" regard each other with various expressions.
A Vimeo video shows the pair interacting with each other, and with human visitors at an exhibition last year. According to Schmid-Pfähler and Liebl, the robots communicate through loudspeakers and motors. Apparently "disagreement is preprogrammed" as well. That means that if Vincent sends positive signals to Emily by moving up and down, she might interpret them as negative and move away.
The project's goal, as FastCoExist's Zak Stone reported, is to explore the ideal of the human couple by distilling it into a more basic form. The self-willed robots contain sensors that allow them to detect similar kinds of patterns in anyone who interacts with them. Watching Emily and Vincent duck around and emit sounds, it does look like they're having conversations by themselves and with visitors.
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This year Vincent & Emily has been making the rounds at art festivals in Europe. Both the artists and their robots appeared in the Toolkit Festival, which took place last week in Venice. I'd love to hang out with that volatile robot couple if they make it to the States. They'd be the life of the party.
Photo: Vincent and Emily, two robots in love. Credit: Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler and Carolin Liebl via FastCoExist.com