Back in December I was lucky enough to be in Vienna, Austria for the 10th annual incarnation of Roboexotica, the conference for cocktail robots. I shot copious amounts of video of the various booze bots in action and Boing Boing has just published a nicely edited, whirlwind tour of the mayhem from my footage.
I’m finally plowing through the massive amounts of footage I shot at Roboexotica in Vienna. This cocktail robot, the K&K Kavalier Klavier by students at FH Joanneum in Gratz, is a piano that allows one to “compose a drink”. You’ll notice a bunch of liquors and mixers mounted at the top. They connect to a series of tubes in the back that connect to valves controlled by a microcontroller that magically determines the right mixture of liquids based on the song you play. Here’s Astera making Red a drink with a little Bach piano concerto.
RoboVox stands proudly in front of the Museumsquartier, greeting visitors to Roboexotica. RoboVox is no ordinary 25 foot retro deco happy robot. If you look closely, you’ll notice those two big black circles on his chest are speakers. If you send an SMS text message to +43 681 10679782, RoboVox will speak your message loudly in his best robo-synthesized voice. RoboVox was conceived by prolific Slovenian artist and all around good guy Martin Bricelj, who is also an artist-in-residence here.
It’s the day before the big opening of the main event here in Vienna, Austria, the 10th annual Roboexotica Festival for Cocktail-Robotics. Lots of preparation action going on in the Freiraum with several of Johannes’ students collaborating on a few delightfully rude drink dispensing bots. I’m happily joined here by many bot friendly pals from the States including Bre Pettis, CTP, Kal Spelletich, Al Honig and Mitch Heinrich to name just a few, all on track with their creations. Here’s some pix to whet your appetite of the madness to come.
Before I completely forget, it’s time for my Austria trip wrapup post.
Vienna: Vienna is beautiful old city, once the center of power during the Austro-Hungarian Empire empire. It has exhibits in it’s natural history museum that are older than the United States. This place IS real history. Austria is also known for it’s copious amounts of meat, chocolate, punsch and beer. I indulged in plenty of all of it.
– Roboexotica Festival – The main reason for trip, this event is like nothing else. Johannes and the monochrom crew along with Magnus from SHIFZ put this thing on, now in it’s 8th mechanically intoxicating incarnation. Essentially, Roboexotica is a week long exhibition in the heart of Vienna, showcasing a variety of robots and other machines related to cocktail culture. Much media was made. GETV videos w/Violet hosting. LunchMeet w/Johannes & one with the Slovenians coming soon. My photos. Jake’s photos. Violet’s photos.
– Roboexotica Symposium – I was asked to deliver a lecture which became a multimedia presentation on undeground robot culture in San Francisco. I covered mostly my experiences with SRL. I was a bit nervous following the creative genius minds of Kal Spelletich and V.Vale.
– Taugshow #9: This is monochrom’s live monthly variety/talk show which was brilliant and hilarious. Since there were so many of us from San Francisco in town, Johannes made this a special English language only edition. Highlights include interviews with Kal, Violet, Vale, the overhead projector song (acoustic and disco versions) and Krack the robot that dances to cheesy techno. Video of the whole thing is online.
Graz: The city of Graz is just 2 hours outside of Vienna and is the home to the football stadium formerly named after famous Graz homeboy Arnold Schwarzenegger. The city erased the Governator’s name from the stadium after his uncompromising pro-death penalty stance. It is amazing that the US is one of the last “civilized” nations to still employ this barbaric method of justice.
– Videoblogging workshops – Johannes asked me to give a series of videoblogging workshops to his students at the FH JOANNEUM- School of Informations Design in Graz. I did four 45-minute sessions to four different groups of students. It wasn’t really enough time to go into much depth but I was able to cover basics of getting video onto a blog using blip.tv and Blogger. Here’s the results.
– Lecture: Videoblogging, Webzines and Zombies – I gave another multimedia presentation, this time in Graz at the same university as the workshops, and relating to videoblogging, independent publishing and underground San Francisco culture. This was fun to do as there is such a wealth of documented material out there on all this, and they are all things I’m passionate about. I think Scott Beale alone deserves credit for the photos I used to illustrate the culture topic. I’ll try and output the presentation from keynote and post it.
It was a great 9 days and I know I’m missing tons. Thanks to Johannes and Evelyn for putting me up at their place for the duration and to Johannes for finding a way to fund this trip for me. It was an amazing time and it’s heartening to know that creative freaks are doing amazing things in other countries AND want to include us often self-centered Americans.
I’ve been here a week in Vienna, Austria for Roboexotica, the conference for cocktail robots. It’s been a blast hanging out with my new Austrian friends @ monochrom. Plenty of impressive drink serving bots abound. This photo is of the Kal Spelletich’s Vino-Viper, an articulated arm attached to a wall that is controlled by a glove and blow tube. You move the arm around by moving your fingers and then can serve wine by blowing into a tube. Only the hardy and ambidextrous are successful at getting a decent amount of intoxicant in their cup.
Other interesting bots include Anika and Daniel’s Digi Colada, the Cocktail-Katapult which launches maraschino cherries into a large transformer bot for delivery, the WERP-Bot which facially recognizes and launches a cigarette into a waiting smoker’s mouth. Much local SF representation here with David Calkins‘ drink serving Chapek & Tyler’s WaiterBot, Simone Davalos‘ El Espanol Borracho which makes a mean flaming spanish coffee. Also David Fine and Jonathan Moore’s External Combustion Engine which uses RFID cards to serve up various cocktail recipes. Pals Violet Blue, Jake Appelbaum, V. Vale & family are also here making mayhem. Much more I’m missing, though you can catch a bunch of it in these videos I shot. Also, Roboexotica GETV episode is up.
I’m taking off on Sunday for a week in Austria, mostly in Vienna to attend and cover Roboexotica, “the festival for cocktail robots”. I’m super psyched to be hanging out with new and old friends as they compete with their robotic creations in areas of expertise such as ‘robots that mix and service cocktails’, ‘robots that light your cigarette for you’, and ‘robots that engage in bar conversation’.
Then I head to Graz to give videoblogging workshops to university students and give a multimedia slideshow presentation on weird techno-art San Francisco. Drop me a line if you’re also gonna be around in Vienna or Graz.