Concept Art: Robotic Chair Follows You Around

Jelte's robotic stalker chair
It’s not paranoya if someone’s actually following you. But in this case, it’s helpful: Visit the library, poke your card at the nearest chair and it’ll follow you around, aptly providing seating once you’ve found a nice cozy place to read. Unfortunately it looks as though this is pure concept art with no actual implementation or research — a conclusion I’m embarrassed to admit took a few minutes to arrive at by watching the video. But a nice concept nonetheless and since it managed to dupe me, if only for a short while, I think it deserves some attention.

The robotic, stalker chair project titled ‘Take_a_seat’ is the conceptual brainchild of Dutch artist Jelte van Geest. An RFID card allows the chair to track you around; and when you leave the library the chair returns to its dock for recharging. BotJunkie reports that:

This cool little project by Jelte van Geest won’t record what you’re saying or reconstruct itself, but it will follow you around and provide comfortable seating. There aren’t many technical specs, but it looks like you can check the chair out with a RFID card. The chair follows discreetly behind you, and is there whenever you need a little break. As soon as you leave the library, the chair returns autonomously to a charging slot. A whole bale of chairs can be controlled at once, automatically arranging themselves into seating appropriate for lectures and such.

From reading that I ignorantly presumed that this was an actual project … and it took me longer than I’m proud of to realize that it’s concept art from the ground up; the flocking behavior took it overboard and jolted me to reality. Puzzlement turned to annoyed embarrassment when I looked a bit closer and realized the weird contrasts weren’t bad video compression but CGI artifacts. In any case, it’s an excellent concept and really fun to watch.

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2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. CGI? I agree in that it’s a neat concept, though. I was pretty amazed myself when I saw the chairs line up neatly. But again the video only shows the guy scanning his card on 3 chairs when 12 lined up. Oh well. It’d be amazing if someone could actually make this fly.

  2. Hrafn

    CGI? [...]

    Computer Generated Image (in part, they mix real props and CGI stuff). Yeah, it’s kind of neat. Could probably be very useful to the elderly.

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