The Reality Gap

A commentary and speculative documentation on robotic, artificial life forms

Royal College of Art, 2016

Where will the next generation of robotic systems come from and where will they go? Will they come from isolated laboratory environments, clean and supervised, where all is under control and unpredictability is impossible, or will they come from our all open, vast nature - dangerous and full of surprises, but also full of new possibilities?

The Reality Gap grounds on contemporary research in the field of Evolutionary Robotics and assumes a set of "evolving machines" that are exposed to specific, artificially set up environments which to these robots act as "natural habitats". How could those artificial lifeforms manifest in such highly "designed" realities? How could such creatures evoke emotional response in humans, what could this reaction mean and where does it come from? What language and vocabulary could be used to describe such abstract, yet natural, "life-like" phenomena?

A series of robotic agents, each "living" in it's very own, specific habitat, try to evoke an empathic, human reflex on the viewer while raising questions on how to assess "aliveness", the role of creator and creation and how we might change our approach on how to consider entities as living beings.

Feature article on Creative Applications

This project has been part of UK Robotics Week 2016