Robots Are Creatures, Not Things


Manus is a set of ten industrial robots that are programmed to behave like a pack of animals. While each robot moves independently, they share the same central brain. So instead of acting in isolation, they have intertwined behaviors that ripple through the group as people walk by. Manus uses 12 depth cameras to detect and track the body language of approaching visitors. The robots then use this depth data to decide who to move towards, and whether to look at a their hands or face. Like many of today’s intelligent autonomous machines, the robots in Manus don’t look like or act like us. However, we hope to show that these machines can broadcast a range of primal emotions that can still connect with us.


Project Credits

Manus was commissioned by The World Economic Forum for their 2018 Annual Meeting of New Champions, in Tianjin, China.

Development Team: Madeline Gannon, Julián Sandoval, Kevyn McPhail, Ben Snell

Sponsors: NVIDIA and ABB Ltd.