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Real story behind pole-dancing robot

IF YOU happened to come across it, the video of a gyrating, pole-dancing robot featured in a tweet that went viral this week likely stirred some strange feelings inside you.

The video has been retweeted more than 108,000 times in the past few days. Complete with shiny white high heels and a security camera for a head, there is something simultaneously mesmerising and deeply unsettling about the salacious robot.

Is it commentary on the impending wave of automation shaking up the jobs market?

Or is it a glimpse into a dystopian future where robots have hijacked our sexual desires?

Well, neither really. Rather the robot was designed to be a statement on the growing level of surveillance in modern life.

The pole-dancing bot is the creation of UK artist Giles Walker, who made it back in 2008 when the city of London was ramping up its public CCTV network.

"At the time they were putting CCTV cameras up all around London, and Britain was becoming the most surveilled society in the world," he told The Verge.

"So I was playing with this idea of voyeurism, and who has the power in that relationship; whether it's the voyeur or the person being watched."

So for art's sake, think about that grinding metal robot pelvis the next time you're caught on CCTV.

Topics:  art editors picks robotics


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