If you have walked past Trafalgar Square this past week end, you have probably noticed the robot invasion. The installation by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram is called Outrace, and is part of the London Design Festival. It will occupy Trafalgar Square for another 3 days.
The machines come all the way from an Audi factory in Germany, where they normally glue and weld car parts together. But the two designers have hijacked the machines to turn them into light-writers. By accessing the Outrace website via a computer or mobile device, people can send messages to be drawn by the machines.
The movements of their ‘heads’ draw letters, which are captured by long exposure cameras, as the robots are adorned with lights. The message then appears on Trafalgar Square, but is also sent to the sender to publish on Facebook. The impact of the installation is then not restricted to the physical location of the machines, but is also transmitted worldwide using social media. And it looks pretty cool.
The sight of those machines is part beautiful, part scary: they sort of look like they are dancing, but their movements are also so quick that they remind us of those robots going all crazy and homicidal in sci-fi movies.
We are going to try to light-write something. If we manage to get a slot, we shall post the result here.