The Senster

Explanatory text from Are Computers Alive? Evolution and New Life Forms, by Geoff Simons (1983).

A cybernetic sculpture, 'The Senster', was constructed by Edward Ihnatowicz in 1970 for the Philips Evoluon in Eindhoven. The device is a large electrohydraulic structure in the form of a lobster's claw: six hinged joints allow great freedom of movement. It is interesting that the device's unpredictable behaviour makes the observer feel that the sculpture is alive. Reichardt (1978) commented: 'It is as if behaviour were more important than appearance in making us feel that something is alive.' 'The Senster' has senses—sound channels (effective ears) and radar—to allow it to monitor its environment: it will, for example, react to the movement of people in the immediate vicinity. Electrical signals are fed from a control unit to activate mechanisms which cause movement in the device. The brain (a computer) has learning abilities and can modify the machine's behaviour in the light of past experience. Confronted by this artificial device, it is clear that people have no difficulty in organizing their psychological responses as if 'The Senster' were alive—an animal or another human being.

Watch it in action below. The people desperately trying to get its attention clearly hadn't watched enough horror movies to know what usually happens next in situations with sentient machines.

More info:
     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 25, 2023
     Category: Art | Technology | AI, Robots and Other Automatons | 1970s

That's just creepy.
Posted by KDP on 01/25/23 at 07:41 PM
OK, granted, that is somewhat weird; but it's nothing close to the Strandbeest.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/28/23 at 05:47 AM
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