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The Senster [1] [2] [3] [4] was a work of robotic art created by Edward Ihnatowicz .[5] It was commissioned by Philips to be exhibited in the Evoluon, in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and was on display from 1970 to 1974, when it was dismantled.

It was the first work of robotic sculpture to be controlled by a digital computer [6] [7] .[8] It was about 8 feet (2.5m) high "at the shoulder" and about 15 feet (4 m) long, constructed of welded steel tubing and actuated by hydraulic rams. There were four microphones and two Doppler radar sensors mounted on its "head", which were used to sense the sound and movement of the people around it. A computer system (Philips P9201 - a clone of the more common Honeywell 416) controlled the robot and implemented a behavioural system so that the Senster was attracted to sound and low level movement, but repelled by loud sounds and violent movements. The complicated acoustics of the hall and the completely unpredictable behaviour of the public made the Senster's movements seem a lot more sophisticated than the software would suggest.


  1. ^ Benthall, Jonathan (1972). Science and Technology in Art Today. London: Thames and Hudson.
  2. ^ Reichardt, Jasia (1978). Robots: Fact, Fiction + Prediction. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27123-2.
  3. ^ Simons, Geoff (1983). Are Computers Alive?. Brighton: Harvester. ISBN 0-7108-0501-2.
  4. ^ Michie, Donald; Rory Johnston (1984). The Creative Computer: Machine Intelligence and Human Knowledge. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-80060-0.
  5. ^ Kac, Eduardo (1997). "Origin and Development of Robotic Art". Art Journal, Digital Reflections: the Dialogue of Art and Technology, Special issue on Electronic Art, Johanna Drucker, (ed.), CAA, NY. 56 (3): 60–67. doi:10.2307/777824.
  6. ^ Zivanovic, Aleksandar (April 12–15, 2005). "The Development of a Cybernetic Sculptor: Edward Ihnatowicz and The Senster". Creativity and Cognition Conference. pp. 586–591.
  7. ^ Zivanovic, Aleksandar (April 13, 2005). "SAM, The Senster and The Bandit: Early Cybernetic Sculptures by Edward Ihnatowicz". Robotics, Mechatronics and Animatronics in the Creative and Entertainment Industries and Arts Symposium, AISB 2005 Convention. Hatfield, UK.
  8. ^ Reichardt, Jasia (May 4, 1972). "Art at large". New Scientist.

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