Sleepwalking: Robotic Dream Playback
An art project that investigates human-robot relationships links up sleeping humans and the lifelike machines.
“Sleepwalking” is a remarkable collaboration between artist Fernando Orellana and computer scientist Brendan Burns. The program records user’s recorded brainwave activity and eye movements during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep to determine robot behaviors and head positions.
In the next thirty years we will see more robotic technology integrated into our society, furthering our experience of reality through agency. Robots already go beyond the limitations of our bodies. They build things that we find too difficult or tedious, assist us in our medical care, and are beginning to substitute as our sexual partners. Just as the computer and the automobile have augmented our communication and transportation capabilities, the robot is destined to be essential to our society. What will humanity’s relationship be to the robot in the future? Using recorded brainwave activity and eye movements during REM sleep to determine robot behaviors and head positions, “Sleep Waking” acts as a way to “play-back” dreams. Through this piece we hope to investigate one of the possible human-robot relationships.