The Robot that came to AGWA…
Looking back at Aggie – the world’s first Art Gallery Engagement Robot


AGWA attracted national and international interest for its 'see things differently' rebranding campaign in 2016/17 launching a new public engagement program – including a robot guide ‘Aggie’ the world’s first art gallery engagement robot.

Developed with Perth-based technology firm Smartbots/Surgical Realities, Aggie delivered more than a year of tours and workshops for family and young visitors, and won fans as walking talking art expert bringing the works in the Gallery to life with enchanting insights and childlike wonder.

She made guest appearances on live TV, at press launches, conference, exhibition openings at various festivals and the Australian Gallery Guides’ Conference.


She joined AGWA’s team of 80 Guru (human) Guides in their 40th anniversary year.

Having made her mark, Aggie has gone on a sabbatical art research tour of the outback regions and is expected to return for occasional special events to check up on young visitors.


In the meantime, Aggie’s tour video is a great way to see the Gallery through a robot’s eyes – ‘see things differently’.

AGWA’s Imagination Program contains many exciting ways for all audiences to get involved with art and understand more about the exhibits at the Gallery.

 

ABOUT AGGIE

• Aggie is the world’s first humanoid robot art gallery guide, currently on sabbatical.


• She is the result of a collaboration between the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Perth-based leader in robotic technology, Smartbots, to bring an entertaining new dimension to the enjoyment of visual arts.


• Aggie is a truly international robot. She is a Nao robot, designed by French company Alderbaran running on software developed by Belgian firm QBMT, which has been expanded on by Perth-based technology experts Smartbots.


• A simple analogy for this is that the Nao hardware is like a mobile phone handset, while QBMT’s software is comparative to an Android or IoS operating system and Smartbots develops content, similar to an application a user would select to customise his or her handset.


• Aggie’s 58cm tall and weighs 7kg.


• She can walk, talk, sing, dance, wink, maintain eye contact as well as shake and tilt her head.


• She is powered by a rechargeable battery and equipped with:
o 2 x HD cameras
o 2 lateral loudspeakers
o 4 directional microphones
o Sonars (2 x emitting, 2 x receiving)
o Linux Operating System


• Aggie’s presence at AGWA was made possible by the partnership with Smartbots.


ABOUT SMARTBOTS

• Smartbots is part of a young Perth group of tech companies passionate about robotic-technology and VR in the arts, education and health areas.


• The team includes software developers, mechatronic and computer systems engineers capable of customising intelligent robotic solution for specific audiences – including the arts, retail, health and aged care, banking and education sectors.


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