Anyone Still Working Here?

An interactive conversation with a robot about the future of work.

Futurium is a House of Futures. Here, everything revolves around the question: how do we want to live?
The robot writes questions to an interactive glass panel.

A future where more and more robots will replace people at work seems inevitable. The public is rarely involved in this controversial topic, lots of questions are left open. The installation “Anyone Still Working Here?” invites visitors of the exhibition at the Futurium to negotiate the details of this undertaking with a prominent representative of the pro-robot movement: An industrial robot arm.

Depending on which drawn button the visitor touches the dialogue starts.

A custom-made interactive glass panel serves as communication device between visitors and robot. The robot writes questions and draws user interfaces on the glass panel. The visitor on the other side can respond via drawn buttons and emojis. Answers are followed by counter-questions – an interactive dialogue about the future of work begins.

The robot communicates its willingness to do monotonous work via a drawing. Percentage values show the preferences of the visitors so far.

Multiple scenes keep the robot busy writing questions and reacting to the answers.

Once a dialog completes the robot reacts with a drawing communicating its attitude. After this statement, it switches tools, from pen to sponge to clean the window for the next visitor. We equipped the robot with a custom tool head, featuring a self refilling pen and a felt sponge.

All kinds of pictograms were produced to give the robot expression in its drawings.

“Anyone Still Working Here?” is commissioned by Futurium, a House of Futures and part of the permanent exhibition.


Credits

Film Matthias Maercks 
Actress Hannah Sieh 

Thanks to Susanne Jackson, interactive scape and
Jack Rusher  for kindly providing his brilliant single line font.