Fri, Aug 23, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Dirk is a robot, but not as we know it

Staff writer, with CNA

While robots are often pictured with shiny metallic surfaces and futuristic looks, a robot from Germany might be about to change Taiwanese perceptions.

Dirk, the Homeless Robot, a moving android with the appearance of a tramp, is bearded, wears a shabby coat, cap and glasses, and pushes a shopping trolley. It was shipped from Germany and is currently wandering the streets of Taiwan as part of an art exhibition held by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. It can detect and move toward crowds, interact with people and play music on the accordion, according to the Ministry of Culture.

Dirk is one of the technology artworks on display as part of this year’s International Techno Art Exhibition, which also showcases 20 other artworks from 16 countries at the museum in Greater Taichung.

The robot has already been seen on the streets of Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) on Tuesday. It also strolled around areas near Taipei Railway Station, Ximending (西門町) and Longshan Temple yesterday.

Today it is scheduled to roam the Anping old street and the Confucius Temple areas of Greater Tainan, before returning to Greater Taichung tomorrow, the ministry said.

The artwork is about creating interactions between humans and robots, it said.

The International Techno Art Exhibition runs until Oct. 27.

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