Robot Programmed to Avoid Humans Roams Californian Desert

ShyBot is part of an exhibit by an Italian artist
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2017 4:05 PM CST

Finally, a robot for people who don't like parties, order all their meals online, and haven't made direct eye contact in 18 months. Motherboard reports an Italian artist has created a rover that's solely programmed to avoid human contact. In an artist's statement, Norma Jeane admits ShyBot, as her robot is fittingly called, has "no function in the traditional sense." The solar-powered ShyBot was created with help from the engineers at CODAME for the DesertX art exhibition, Engadget reports. Then it was released into California's Sonoran desert.

"The machine is let loose in the landscape, free of the human determinism that thus far framed its existence, and we, in turn, are free to imagine a world liberated from the indeterminacy of us," Jeane says. ShyBot spent the next six days, ending last weekend, avoiding any sign of humans while sending live video to an art gallery in San Francisco, CNET reports. The rover was followed by aerial drones, which it also tried to avoid. You can follow ShyBot's journey, courtesy of a GPS tracker, here. Motherboard states ShyBot is an interesting experiment in a time when most engineers are building robots to better socialize with humans. Meanwhile, Engadget confesses it's "never wanted to a hug a robot more." Of course, ShyBot would hate that. (More robots stories.)

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