“Slave/ Master”, The Must-See Robotic Technology Installation at the V&A

The Brooke Roberts Innovation Agency explores the borders around human/robot interaction whilst challenging the public’s perception of the increased prevalence of robotic technology.

We want to share with you an exciting free event at the V&A. Taking place during London Design Festival and Digital Design Weekend, the event is part of the line up for the V&A exhibitions 2017. Taking place between Friday, 16th – Sunday 24th September, the event will unveil the Slave/ Master installation that explores new robotics technology.

Robotic Technology

Cutting-Edge Robotics At The V&A

Developed by The Brooke Roberts Innovation Agency (BRIA), the Slave/ Master installation combines contemporary dance, cutting-edge robotics and interactive projection graphics. Exploring the “borders” around human/robot interaction, reversing the traditional “fear” portrayed in sci-fi films of robots oppressing and interfering with humans, visitors will be able to roam around the Slave/Master installation space, with the freedom to view it from all angles.

The project, supported by Arts Council England, will be located at the Raphael Gallery. Those who plan to attend can look forward to seeing a performance that develops from the dancers interacting with curiosity towards their robot peers, changing very quickly to aggression and domination, revelling in their ability to influence and direct the robots’ movements as they try to avoid their human aggressors.

Brooke Roberts islam [left] founder of The Brooke Roberts Innovation Agency (BRIA) with Mira Duma

BRIA worked closely with leading experts from KUKA Robotics UK, Adelphi Automation and SCM Handling, with specialist software from Autodesk, to program the robotic performers to act and react in response to the movements of the human dancers on stage with them.

On how they devised their “Slave/ Master” installation, Moin Roberts-Islam, from Brooke Roberts Innovation Agency shared, “When we devised our “Slave/ Master” installation, we wanted to explore the borders around human/robot interaction and reverse the traditional “fear” taught to us by cautionary science fiction tales, instead creating a physical dialogue and demonstrating the impact that humans can have on robots’ ‘behaviour’, with the larger aim of challenging the public’s perception of the increased prevalence of robotic technology and making it feel more accessible and less daunting.”

The V&A London [credit: London Design Festival]
The performance also uses evolving projected graphics as a window into the ‘souls’ of the robots, with bespoke algorithms by creative digital agency, Holition. Using data from the movement and urgency of the robot performers, evolving 3D shapes are formed, with overlaid silhouettes representing memories of past interactions with humans, to portray the robots’ “mood” to the audience, ranging from calmly ordered images to more frantic violent forms at the height of the robots’ discomfort.

London Design Festival at the V&A

Over nine days in September, the London Design Festival will feature hundreds of events taking place across London, showcasing the city’s pivotal role in global design. The London Design Festival 2017 boasts over 500 Partners, Landmark Projects, and V&A Commissions. The V&A as a leading museum of art and design makes a great venue for the Slave/Master installation. It has built a strong reputation for its promotion of design and increasing knowledge, through understanding and enjoyment of the designed world.

If you would like to attend the Slave/Master at the V&A, be sure to show up between Friday, 16th September and Sunday, 24th September 2017. You can access the installation at The Raphael Gallery from 10.00 – 17.30.

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