Robotic petting zoo with intelligent machine tentacles

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

robotic petting zoo woman
The tentacles seem happy to see her!

Minimaforms, a design company known for pulling off some rather strange architecture and art, will certainly send tingles up your spine with their latest project. Or, is that just a robotic tentacle tapping you on the shoulder?

Yes, rather than furry bunnies and goats, Minimaforms has filled their petting zoo with intelligent robots!

However, these are not just any ordinary bots. They actually learn and respond to human touch, turning their tube-like bodies around as visitors enter the petting zoo.

Because they’re equipped with special artificial intelligence, they evolve over time and can even develop personalities. Also, if the blue-glowing creatures ever feel bothered, they’ll pull back and glow red.

Using a blend of Kinect sensors, the tentacles can figure out human gestures and react either playfully or with anger. Don’t worry though, there won’t be any obnoxious kids getting lifted into the air for slapping the robot one too many times! If a human just stands there doing nothing, the bots will grow bored, while the more interactive visitors will attract curious robot stares.

I can’t decide if it’s all creepy, cool, or just plain weird, so I’m going to settle for all of the above.

Images courtesy of Minimaforms.