Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 17 October, 2021

This robot petting zoo is terrifying

Who wants to pet a goat when you can pet a neon plastic tube?

WHEN YOU THINK petting zoo, you think cute furry animals that you can pet and feed.


DONKEYS IN DUBLIN ZOO Source: flickr/infomatique

Well, experimental architecture and design studio, Minimaforms, are here to suck all of the joy out of that.

Admittedly, their Petting Zoo installation in the France’s FRAC center is a pretty amazing feat in artificial intelligence, but the ‘pets’ don’t look even slightly cuddly. Frankly, they’re just huge big glowing tentacles.

The installation is an ‘immersive interaction experience’ which allows us lowly humans to shape what the installation becomes and how it acts. The ‘creatures’ visitors are petting, however, are simply tubes hanging from the ceiling.


The real magic is in how they react to the human touch. The robots evolve over time, based on every interaction with humans and their surrounding environment.

Life-like attributes and personalities are formed through interactions, just like a real pet, maybe starting off shy or aggressive but eventually warm up.

The engineers use Kinect sensors and cameras to track visitors and their movements so the creatures can react accordingly. If they sense your presence but you’re boring, they’ll act disinterested.

You can learn more about the strangely brilliant installation in Minimaforms explainer video:

Source: Minimaforms

h/t to Mashable

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