RoboTO: a summer innovation club
June 22nd, 2018
From Makr Shakr 3.0 to Italdesign’s Pop.Up Next. From Scribit to Lift-Bit. The RoboTO event, setup in Turin, Italy throughout summer 2018, hosts several projects, each of them with a unique character and distinct purposes. But one similarity gathers all the designs exhibited. That is, they do all advocate the idea that new technologies can help us make our daily life easier, and perhaps even more fun. RoboTO is created as a club that encourages meetings and discussions on issues such as automation, the future of work and urban life. We invite you to take part in this little experiment, which is open to everyone in Turin and beyond.
RoboTO: A Living Lab for New Experiences
The projects exhibited at RoboTO are developed by several companies based in Turin, working on the use of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. In some cases their products are already established on the market, but most are prototypes developed in the last few months and years. In RoboTO you can interact with these prototypes, experience their abilities or discover yet uncovered possibilities. RoboTO is a Living Lab: an open laboratory where every visitor can engage in discussion, testing and comparison, essential dynamics in all processes of innovation.
RoboTO: Using Machines to Augment Social Interactions
At the beginning of the 20th century, the great American historian Lewis Mumford wrote: "The chief benefits the rational use of the machine promises is not the elimination of work", but rather replacing heavy labor with more creative activities contributing to broader societal values. The projects exhibited at RoboTO, all make us imagine a different tomorrow; such as Makr Shakr 3.0, Makr Shakr’s robotic bartender with mechanical arms, or Scribit, a small write&erase robot creating wall-drawings based on live content from the web, or Pop.Up Next, Italdesign’s vision for a self-driving flying vehicle. In particular, with Makr Shakr 3.0, we imagine a future where everyone can become a skilled bartender able to personalize and create cocktails for his or her friends. In this way, machines become a tool to improve and augment social interactions.
RoboTO: What Professions Will Be in our Future?
Automation and robotics can be highly fascinating. Yet, at the same time, thinking at a future in which most work will be carried out by robots, compel us to reflect on the impact of technological advancements on today’s professions. At Makr Shakr, we believe that the key discussions include concepts such as transition and redistribution. Transition means the capability to manage technological upsets, helping those who have lost their jobs to find a new one – and educate the new generations to the professions of the future. Redistribution is mandatory to understand who will benefit from the new “world order”. Those who provide capital? Or those who might lose jobs? An idea backed by Bill Gates, might be to make robots or AI pay taxes. How can we build a more equitable world of labor in the next years?
RoboTO: Innovation that Creates Jobs
One of the duties of innovation is to create economic value and produce jobs. Companies participating in RoboTO employ young people with different skills and share a belief that the future can be positive for everybody. RoboTO calls for a collective discussion with an optimistic approach and openness to diversity and inclusion. At Makr Shakr we believe that a company should produce a positive social impact. In our practice we employ more than 20 young people in diverse disciplines such as engineering, interaction design, programming and communication.
RoboTO: Come and Play with Technology
The projects on show at RoboTO, both brand-new products and early prototypes, aim to reinvent fields such as mobility (Pop.Up Next), interior design (Lift-bit and Scribit) or entertainment (Makr Shakr 3.0). At the same time, they are all based on automation technologies which have been reshaping various industries - automotive, textile, food, electronics – for many years already. Visiting RoboTO it is possible to directly experience and get acquainted with these technologies. In the case of Makr Shakr’s latest machine, the simple action of using an app to request a cocktail at the robotic bar allows anybody to take full control of an industrial robot. Technology can be fun to play with. This summer, come at RoboTO innovation club to take part in the game.
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