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April 19, 2015

Hitchbot’s poetry-writing sibling will also make its way across Canada

by John_A

While Hitchbot was bumming rides across Canada and Germany, its sibling kulturBot remained at home to keep their “parents” company. Now kulturBot is going on an adventure of its own, traveling with musicians, poets and other artistic types aboard the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour. See, it might be made out of a pasta strainer and a vacuum, but it will fit right in with the other passengers — after all, the little machine is a wordsmith itself. Its creators, Dr. David Harris and Dr. Frauke Zeller, designed kulturBot to write poetry using words and phrases taken from the diaries of Canadian geographer and fur trader David Thompson.

The robot’s lights flash whenever it’s done composing a new poem, and a thermal printer embedded in its body spits a printed copy out. Many of its pieces reportedly make as much sense as a drunk, stuttering newbie at a Friday night poetry slam, but Harris believes they’re still “strangely beautiful.” Here’s an example the developers gave to The Toronto Star (formatting ours):

men had worn
by our oldest hunter
only six hundred miles
of Great Britain and Women.

Feel free to formulate your own interpretation.

The machine going on an eight-day journey from Toronto to Vancouver is actually the third generation, with earlier iterations visiting museums and galleries instead. As Hitchbot wrote on its website: “Though I am clearly more handsome than my sibling, my kulturBot does have a few more years of experience.” Robopoet version 3.0’s journey will last from April 18th to 26th, during which it’ll be posting photos and snippets of its new masterpieces on Facebook and Twitter.

[Image credit: kulturBot/Facebook]

Filed under: Robots

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Source: The Toronto Star, Hitchbot, Frauke Zeller

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