Would you trust a robot to care for your pet?
This free video installation shows three cats – Ghostbuster, Pumpkin and Clover – living inside a custom-built environment created by artists for 12 days. Their every need was catered for: food, drink, air conditioning, high ledges to watch from, cubbyholes to snooze in and a floor-to-ceiling scratch post.
At the centre of the room was a robot arm controlled by an AI connected to a computer vision system. Every few minutes the AI instructed the robot to offer a game to the cats. Over time, it learned which games each cat liked best. The robot threw balls or dropped them into a ball run, dangled feathers, offered snacks, introduced a cardboard box, rang bells and dragged a toy mouse.
The results of this unique project by Blast Theory are presented via a seven-hour film which will be played daily in Bocs.
Come along to witness this utopia where cats live in harmony with artificial intelligence.
Meet the Cats
Ghostbuster is a four-year-old Siamese cat. Ghostbuster has a supersonic meow that can convince anyone to give him the attention he deserves.
Pumpkin is a three-year-old ginger and white cat. He loves snuggling under his favourite blanket and finding cubbyholes to sleep in.
Clover is a three-year-old calico cat. Clover is an acrobat cat. She loves treating any room like an agility course.
To ensure the comfort and safety of the cats, experts in animal welfare were involved in the design of the project from the start and senior staff from the RSPCA were supervising throughout the 12 days.
Visit Blast Theory’s website to find out more about this project including the welfare measures, the technology used and the artists’ statement.
Mon – Sun 10am – 5pm
No need to book, just pop in
Running time: The film lasts 7 hours and tracks the progress of the 12-day project. Visitors can come and go as they’d like throughout the showing (subject to capacity).
Age guidance: All ages welcome. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Cat Royale was made possible as part of Blast Theory’s role as Cultural Ambassadors for the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub (a research project funded by UKRI). The work was created as part of an extensive collaboration with researchers at the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham; and with Professor Clara Mancini at the Open University and Professor Daniel Mills at the University of Lincoln.