Cyberspecies Proximiy

This week on Journal Club session Anna Dumituru will talk about her project named "Cyberspecies Proximity" on which she is working together with Alex May.

Cyberspecies Proximity explores what it will mean to share our sidewalks, elevators and transport systems in close proximity with mobile intelligent robots. The work challenges audiences to confront the technological, ethical, and societal questions raised by the advent of urban socially-aware robots.

The robotic artwork combines the way-finding technologies of delivery and maintenance robots with an ability to communicate non-verbally, and to manipulate our emotions through body-language. The robot is able to move around an exhibition space using a predefined map created using SLAM technology. It reacts and responds to the body language of audience members through a multi-layered face, skeleton and movement tracking algorithm.

The small and fragile humanoid form is dressed in the clothes of a worker, its frail and insignificant body reminds us of the social groups that will be most affected by future automation. The robot’s head and hands are made from 3D printed grey PLA and it intentionally avoids categorisations of race and gender. The project forces us to consider issues of ownership of public spaces as well as the broader ethical implications of how we design robots and behave towards them.

Cyberspecies Proximity is a project by Anna Dumitriu and Alex May, created in collaboration with the Human Robot Co-Mobility Project of the New Technologies Team at Schindler. The project was supported by a Vertigo STARTS Residency, and the artwork was programmed in C++ and FUGIO, the Open Source Visual Programming System created by Alex May.


Due to current unusual circumstances, this Journal Club will be held online as a conference on 8COM0108-0000-2019 module. In order to attend, you must be a member of that module. The conference room will be created on Friday and all of the module members will be notified about that with an email. Once the conference is created and started, module members will be able to join it by visiting the module website on Canvas, and then selecting "Conferences" section. Any queries should be directed to Emil Dmitruk via email (

Date: 03/04/2020
Time: 16:00
Location: Online conference on 8COM0108-0000-2019 module- more details will be announced on Biocomputation Slack group.

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