Marry a robot and fly like Superman

| Michaela Nesvarova

Would you like to know what is it like to fly? Or perhaps you´d prefer to befriend or even marry a robot? All of this can be experienced through installations exhibited today in the DesignLab, where first year students of Creative Technology presented their final projects for course 'Have fun & Play', this year following the theme 'Post-singularity'.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

'Singularity is important, because that´s the point when robots become smarter than humans and we need to ask questions like: why are we still needed?' explains Marielle Stoelinga, who leads the course 'Have fun & Play'. 'The only criteria for the students was to follow the theme Post-singularity and to create interactive installations. Every year I´m amazed with the impressive results of this course.'

Ed Brinksma, who opened the exhibition, agrees: 'Creative Technology is a very special program with very special students. It´s a very exciting way to show the theme of our university. Making a connection between technology and the human element through imagination is important for our future, because that future will be full of technology.'

Hop on a magic carpet inside a virtual reality

With that in mind, the UT students have created a number of very interesting projects, such as Flyrity, 4D experience that makes you feel like you are flying. The installation uses Oculus Rift, headphones and a specially designed board that the user lies on and can steer with, exploring an alien world.

'The idea came from the thought that in the future everything will be automated and humans will not need to work, they will only engage in leisure activities,' says Arnav Mundkur, one of the students behind Flyrity. 'We expect that by year 2045 artificial intelligence will realize that the Earth needs to be protected and humans will stay mainly at home, playing this game.'

Robot marriages and robot babies

Some installations focus on bringing attention to the risks of singularity. Anxiety 4D, for example, involves a very scary movie forcing people to think about the dangers of post-singularity. Installation Nova Vita allows you to witness the birth of a robot baby, suggesting that at certain point we will not be able to control robots anymore; and project Not this time let´s you experience what it would be like if your computer was mad at you.

Other students took a completely different approach by showing the positive side of a possible robot uprising. In one tent inside the DesignLab you can find a robot called Robotina. You can talk to her, bond with her and, if she likes you, she might ask you to marry her. If you accept the marriage proposal, you can put a ring on her finger and even receive a marriage certificate. You can also visit Frankie, a very depressed robot who has been alone for 500 years and who gets cheered up by talking to humans. 'We worked with the idea that robots will be able to do everything that humans can do, including having emotions,' the students describe in their presentation.

Best installations at GOGBOT

If you didn´t get a chance to see the students´ work today, no worries. Every year, the 'Have fun & Play' installations are developed in collaboration with GOGBOT multimedia art festival. GOGBOT organizers also attended today´s exhibit, based on which they will select the best projects to be displayed at the Enschede art festival in September.