SadBot (detail)

SadBot is a kinetic robot installation.

SadBot (detail)
SadBot (detail)

In the times of the Corona pandemic, for many people walking the dog in some nations was the only possibility and in other nations one of the few possibilities to be allowed to walk in fresh air and in the parks. This inspired me to the robot dog installation realized here, which I started some time ago by technical research and was finally able to finish during the lockdown.

This robotic dog is extremely difficult to “tame” and, as is so often the case in my work, much of the work is hidden in invisible details, here in the unusually complicated power supply for continuous operation and the external programming, as it is not possible to program this robot using its internal electronics.

Back to the starting situation: The dog defines its role very precisely in relation to its reference human, because he ranks in the pack by his earned or learned rank. In addition, he claims his precinct, which he carefully inspects and marks during the walks.

That is why he is vying for the attention of the reference person and develops a sadness and resignation when he does not receive it.

The kinetic robot installation “SadBot” addresses this.

SadBot is a work of my “emotional robot” series.

SadBot (detail)

Formally, the dog hovers over a luminous grid in an all-round open cage, in keeping with the situation that virtual, invisible boundaries were drawn around our apartments during the pandemic lockdown.

The robot dog moves and begs for attention. When a viewer approaches, the dog gets excited briefly, but then falls back into sadness and engages with himself as he becomes increasingly frustrated and tired. If no other viewer comes to cheer him up again, he will eventually fall asleep in a roaring protest. A new viewer wakes him up again.

SadBot (detail)

SadBot (2020)
Robot, illuminated table, electronics, 3D Prints, mixed media
Weight: 23 kg
Dimensions: 158cm(H) x 65cm(W) x 47cm(D)
Edition: 2+1ea, each is unique

Olaf Schirm – Main Works, Guelman und Unbekannt Gallery, Berlin, 2023