In the future, will Robots take over the world? If so, then Wellington artist Douglas Bagnall is a step ahead of most of us, having already built a series of robots designed to make our busy lives run smoother.
Bagnall’s robots, or complex computer software systems, have so far made their own films (A Film-Making Robot, 2004), watched TV on our behalf (Shortland Street Emulator, 2006) and even watched clouds drift by for us (Cloud Shape Classifier, 2006). As Bagnall says of the Cloud Shape Classifier: “Many people would like to see interesting clouds, but lack the spare time in which to look upwards. A Cloud Shape Classifier can help by watching the sky as people go about their routines; and showing them the best clouds at a later time”.
Bagnall’s latest project is a video game machine which allows viewers to create their own environment for which a game is then designed specifically around. Unlike commercial video games which only allow players to customise existing electronic avatars, in Te Tuhi Video Game Machine you can hand-draw your characters from scratch using paper and crayons.
Scanning and analysing your drawing, the machine will build a video game designed to best fit, mixing up the hand-crafted with the highly technical to create a game which is both interactive and personal.