What would you do if you were walking through a park and saw a little cardboard robot struggling to make its way along the paths? Would you, good samaritan-like, help it get to its destination, or would you walk on by? This is the question that Kacie Kinzer, an arts student at Tisch School of the Arts in NY, wanted to answer. So she created the Tweenbot, a 10-inch-tall cardboard robot as a social experiment, left him to fend for himself in a park, and filmed the results.
Kinzer expected hardened New Yorkers to ignore the little cardbot's plight, but she was surprised by what she saw, following at a safe distance with a hidden camera in her bag. "Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole," she writes on her website, "some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, 'You can't go that way, it's toward the road.'" See the little critter in action below, alongside a video of its incredible journey.
It took the Tweenbot 42 minutes to trundle through Washington Square Park, from the north-east to the south-east corner. Twenty-nine passers-by helped him on his way.