The Bandit

In the following years, whilst employed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of University College, London, and doing research in robotics, he built several devices which, although sculptural in their original concept, all ended up as pieces of departmental research equipment. One, however, during an early stage of its development, was exhibited as a piece of cybernetic art. It was called the Bandit and was a simple lever, rather like the ones on Las Vegas slot machines (hence the name). Under computer control it could both move and sense motion if it was itself moved by someone. It was exhibited at the Computer Art Society exhibition at the Edinburgh Festival in 1973 where a fairly simple program enabled it to interact in an aparently purposeful way with anyone who moved the lever and by statistically analysing the resulting motion succeeded, in the large majority of cases, in classifying the person in terms of sex and temperament.


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