Robots become guides at Tate Britain

by Tom Anstey | 15 Aug 2014

Over the course of this week, four robots have been allowing guests to see the Tate Britain at night, acting as virtual guides for the famous gallery in London.

The idea, which won the first IK Prize for a project that widens access to art through the use of digital technology, was created by design studio The Workers.

The project went live on 13 August at 10pm and will run till 18 August at 3am. The robots are being controlled by members of the public, who can log on from anywhere in the world and explore the museum.

Each robot – which almost resembles a coat hanger on wheels – has been fitted with advanced technology, so as to avoid bumping into priceless works of art or careering down a flight of stairs.

Only one person will be able to operate each robot at any one time, although a design team will be watching to intervene or cut short a session should dullness or disaster occur. Members of the public not in control will be able to watch a feed via live stream.

The robots are mounted on a circular wheel base, with two protruding stalks supporting a tilting camera and LED lights. The robots have enough power to last five hours and were built with help from RAL Space – a company which assists the UK Space Agency with space exploration technology.

Over the course of this week, four robots have been allowing guests to see the Tate Britain at night, acting as virtual guides for the famous gallery in London. The idea, which won the first IK Prize for a project that widens access to art through the use of digital technology, was created by design studio The Workers. The project went live on 13 August at 10pm and will run
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Members of the public are able to control the robots, which have special sensors attached so as not to crash into any priceless works / Tate Britain
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