New ‘Zoo’ Lets You Pet Robots Instead of Animals

Artificial Intelligence creatures mean you don't have to worry about getting mauled (yet)

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An experimental architecture and design studio in France is transforming the concept of a petting zoo into a space age experience, exhibiting robotic creatures that interact with each other and with humans.

The Minimaforms installation, located at the Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC) Centre in Orléans, displays hanging jellyfish-like tubular structures that respond to visitors using Kinect sensors. The creatures use the language Processing, which synchronizes their movements with each other and with people, and can simulate emotions like anger or even boredom if humans are not interacting.

The exhibit is meant to explore human sensory and emotional response, but perhaps the futuristic concept means you might no longer have to worry about leaving petting zoos smelling of goats.

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