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The Robot Garden

Collaborators: Sandra Manninger, Alexandra Carlson, Yining Yuan, Andreas Ruhland

Positioned along the concave western façade of the new Robotics building, the robot garden serves as a testing ground for mobile robots of various families. The design of the garden is completely based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN), using Artificial Intelligence in all steps of the design process. This allows generating a synthetic ecology present somewhere between the natural and the artificial. The resulting digital model serves on the one side as the template for the construction, on the other, it serves the purpose of simulating and preparing the test of robots in the garden. The garden itself is executed in natural material providing various different terrains such as grass, gravel, stone, sand, water, and has topographical features such as waves, inclinations, pits, etc. to emulate difficult terrain. Though the garden is made of natural materials, there is a contrast between the natural landscape features, adjacent to the Robot Garden, and the Robot Garden itself which flirts with an intentional artificiality – operating within the realm of a synthetic ecology, befitting the origin of robots as an artificial progeny.

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