Feral Robotic Dogs
Posted on November 07, 2006
Old news, but news to me: reprogrammed toys.
Out there, in happy family homes, in the offices of corporate executives, in toy stores through out the globe, is an army of robotic dogs. These semi-autonomous robotic creatures, though currently programmed to perform inane or entertaining tasks: begging for plastic bones; barking to the tune of national anthems; walking in circles; are actually fully motile and AWAITING FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
Natalie Jeremijenko, with the help of her Yale students, ripped out the brains of toy robotic dogs and reprogrammed/re-equiped them to be able to detect pollution.
They then released them onto community sites, having invited the press to witness the results. On the banks of the Bronx River, for example, they found "Volatile Organic Solvents" and "Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons".