Boing Boing recently spotlighted an exercise in art and robotics with a punk twist dubbed "Neurotic". Artist Fiddian Warman has built a set of robots controlled by a neural network, an adaptive programming modeled on real biology with the ability to learn. The robots, which have the ability to pogo, have been trained on classic punk records.
Warman's site explains:
"Neurotic questions how taste and learning develops through these empathetic responses of the brain. The robots, pre-conditioned by Fiddian to the "classic punk" he loved in his youth, will develop their own neural connectivity through 'listening' and express their pleasure or displeasure to the new, live music through the pogoing action. It constitutes a live performance hinging on the tension between a punk band, 'Neurotic', and its audience of pogo-ing humans and three 2 meter tall robots whose cognition is modelled on brain function. This exploration makes special reference to maturation of synaptic connectivity and notions of learning around empathetic experience with mirror neurons."
The systems will be put on display in an exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from July 3rd to 5th. The artist has formed a punk band for the occasion dubbed Neurotic and the PVCs featuring guitarist Andrew Tweedie (Menace), drummer Chris Bashford (Chelsea) and bassist Rob Bartram (Chester). The band, along with a pair of openers, will play for an audience of superior dancing robots and filthy human meatsacks on each day of the exhibit.