Alea Iacta Est. I visited Hall Object, the gezellige robot, yesterday. My fears of disillusionment with technology came true, though the artist’s message was clearly well received by the occupants of the Vara/NPS offices. A kind gentleman introduced me to Hall Object and explained he was powering up the batteries at the moment. He confided that ‘Dibbes’ (one of the many nicknames for the cute rabbit with feelers) had not moved in the last two days. And he seemed often not to be functioning, in the sense of not moving or trying to break out of his confining rectangle and then stopping.

Could you restrain from stroking this cuddly stroller? source

The four people I spoke to seemed all to share a certain affection for Hall Object. He was clearly well liked. In the brochure the artist explained that this is what he intended to achieve through perceptions of vulnerability or helplessness.

Sadly enough, the supposed technological sensitivity of the machine had now led to a ban on touching Hall Object. I guess it will now be perceived as not only helpless, but lonely and neglected as well. All the more endearing…

ps. My kids came along as well. My eldest of 4 was a bit afraid of going to see a robot (would it stamp on her?) but was reassured by Hall Object. She continued by virtually ignoring it in favor of playing hide and seek with her brother. Both wanted to feel and pat the nice white rabbit, but were told not to. All in all, it did not interest them much.