NYU student Kacie Kinzer built some basic, unidirectional robots and set them loose in Washington Square Park to see if people would assist them in getting from one side of the park to the other. In her own words:
"Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."
Kacie's project will continue with future tweenbot models (one of which is seen above), investigating more scenarios in which robots rely on human intervention.
Here's the website: www.tweenbots.com