Winning idea: Robot museum tour of Tate after dark

Feb 08, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) —A design trio called The Workers have won the IK Prize for their idea on how to apply digital innovation to enhance people's enjoyment of art. They have thought up a project to allow remotely controlled robots to roam the Tate Britain after hours, enabling people worldwide connect to the website and take a self-guided tour. Called After Dark, their robot-aided tour project is for anyone who wants to experience the Tate Britain in this manner and it signifies unique access to great works of art. This is the first year for the IK Prize, an award to celebrate creative talent in the digital industry. The winner is provided with funds that also cover a production budget. Jimmy Wales, a IK Prize juror and founder of Wikipedia, announced the prize winner on Thursday. The robots are expected to start work at the Tate this summer.

The concept involves people who want to see art works and Web-controlled robots situated in the galleries after dark. People taking the tour will be able to steer around the robots and get a close look at the art on display. Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns and David Di Duca—known as the digital production designers, The Workers—will proceed to translate the idea into something real. Founded in 2011, The Workers is a digital product design studio, started by Lanza and Cairns after leaving the Royal College of Art. Activities at the studio range from product design to applications for exhibitions and interactive installations. The studio has made a name for itself in the past for the London Olympics and the Berlin Natural History Museum, among others, including private clients.

The idea for the project, according to the BBC, came to them during one of their other recent projects when they found themselves in a famous gallery after dark; they said they hoped the Tate initiative will enable them to share some of those emotions with as many people as possible.

Shortlisted candidates for the included the idea of TateCraft where Adam Clarke proposed an interactive Minecraft world that could take the player on a journey of discovery through British art. Another idea on that list was TateText Storythings from Matt Locke and Kim Plowright that involved stories about the art and how these stories would be written and shared around the social web. Also on the list was Through the Eyes of an Eight-Year-Old, which was what Evan Boehm proposed, as an animated, interactive web experience that explores Tate's collection through the mind of an eight-year-old boy.

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More information: www.tate.org.uk/about/projects/ik-prize/ik-prize-2014
theworkers.net/

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