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A team of miniature robots developed at MIT makes a documentary about humans, disarming their subjects with their engineered “cuteness.”

2013 Alexander Reben
EN Visit the project

“It’s strange that people open up to a box that talks to them… but on the other hand, people anthropomorphize objects really readily…. It’s part of our humanity that we project ourselves onto inanimate objects.”

Alexander Reben, Author, in Kaltura

Blabdroid is the world’s first documentary directed entirely by robots. The droids in question are equipped with a camera, sensors, and a smile. Engineered to be disarmingly cute as part of author Alexander Reben’s MIT Media Lab thesis, the robots are voiced by a 7-year old boy. Able to sense when people are nearby, the droids ask their subjects intimate questions, such as Who do you love most in the world? What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to somebody? What’s something you’ve never told a stranger?

Reben and his collaborator Brent Hoff will create a documentary from the footage the droids have gathered. They also plan to bring the Blabdroids to the consumer market, allowing people to create their own robot-filmed documentaries.

Preservation Wishes


Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United States
Year : 2013
Author : Alexander Reben
Team : Brent Hoff,Sideblow Inc.
Exhibition Venues : DiY Days,IDFA DocLab,Tribeca
Funders AND Incubators : MIT Media Lab,MIT Open Documentary Lab
Trailer :

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