I know Tweenbots has been on every blog in the past couple days, but I love the idea too much to not add it to my collection as well.  Tweenbots is an art experiment by Kacie Kinzer that looks at how robots and humans interact.  Tweenbots are cute little cardboard robots which try to navigate the streets of New York.  These robots are unique because they are human defendant.  They only have the ability to go in a straight line and rely on human interaction to navigate complicated routes.  The website has some great video of a Tweenbot trying to navigate its way through Washington Square Park.  It gets stuck under benches, and in potholes... but people consistently come to its rescue.  The trek apparently only took 42 minutes and 29 human interventions.

I love this project for so many reasons.  Partially, I just enjoy the idea that people would help inanimate objects with a task.  Mostly, I like this project because it challenges the typical thinking about robots.  Robots are not necessarily going to take over the Earth, we can live peacefully together... they might just need our help.  Let the robots contribute what they are good at, and let the people contribute what they are good at.  I love crowdsourcing.

Bicycle Built for Two Thousand

Bicycle Built for 2000 is the latest project by Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey.  They took the song Daisy Bell (a.k.a.  Bicycle Built for Two) and synthesized it, breaking the song down note by note.  They then paid Amazon's Mechanical Turk workers to listen to a note of the song and reproduce it to the best of their abilities.  None of the workers knew about the greater goal, they were only informed of their task.  All the sampled notes were put back together into a complete song featuring over 2000 human voices.  Amazing!

Ten Thousand Cents

I'm not sure why, but I'm totally enthralled by Amazon's Mechanical Turk.  I just can't get enough information about it.  I'm particularly fascinated by Aaron Koblin's artistic take on the the Turk (see previous post - The Sheep Market).  His latest project is Ten Thousand Cents, created in collaboration with Takashi Kawashima.  Thousands of Mechanical Turk workers were asked to paint a small section of a $100 bill using a custom drawing tool. They were paid one cent for their work. None of the workers were aware of the final image they were contributing to.  You can click on any image in the bill to watch how it was drawn.  Very cool.

Takes All Types


Takes All Types is leveraging the power of Facebook to help with blood donations.  It's a Facebook application with a purpose.  Users register their blood type with Takes All Types and then notifications are sent to them when blood is needed in their areas.  This is one of the smartest Facebook apps I've seen.  It's raising awareness and building a blood donation network by using the enormous force of a social network.  If you are not a Facebook member, you can still register with Takes All Types to receive phone, text, email or fax alerts of blood shortages in your area.

Nokia Nseries Urbanista Diaries


The Nokia Nseries has created an interesting website where they tell a tale of 4 bloggers traveling around the globe and taking pictures, to help sell the Nokia 5 megapixel, GPS enabled phones.  The advertising story goes like this... "Once upon a time, 4 travelers began a global quest.  They beat a path through our urban jungles to seek out untold stories - to capture time, only to release it back into the world.  And they laid out a trail so we cannot lose them".  You can track the bloggers' travels and view their geo-tagged photos as the post them.  It's a cool, overly dramatized take on selling a  phone - I like it.  (Found through Comuptuerlove).

Free Rice


I love the thinking behind Free Rice. The idea is very simple, they use advertising profits generated by visitors to donate money to the UN World Food Program in an effort to help end hunger.  People are invited to come to the site and play a multiple choice word game.  For each correct answer, 20 grains of rice are donated.  The game strengthens your vocabulary and keeps your attention long enough to make the advertising money needed to pay for the rice donations.  It's super simple, super smart, and by the look of the stats, super effective.  (Found through