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`Homeless' robot from Holland roaming Taiwan streets

2013/08/21 21:20:05

Dirk, the homeless robot, is pushing a cart in Eslite's Xinyi store Tuesday. (From the 2013 International Techno Art Exhibition's Facebook page)

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) While robots are often pictured with shiny metallic surfaces and futuristic looks, a robot from Holland might be about to change Taiwanese people's perceptions of the machine.

Dirk the Homeless Robot, a moving android with the appearance of a tramp, wears a shabby coat, cap and glasses and pushes a shopping trolley.

The bearded robot is currently wandering the streets of Taiwan as part of a techno art exhibition held by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.

It is able to detect and move toward crowds and interact with people, as well as play country music on the accordion, according to the Ministry of Culture.

Dirk is one of the technology artworks on display as part of the 2013 International Techno Art Exhibition, which also showcases 20 other artworks from 16 countries at the museum in Taichung, central Taiwan.

The robot has already been seen on the streets of Taipei's Xinyi District on Tuesday. It is also scheduled to stroll around areas near the Taipei main station and the city's Ximending area and Longshan Temple Thursday.

The next day, it will roam the Anping old street and the Confucian Temple areas of southern Taiwan's Tainan before returning to Taichung and making its appearance there Saturday, the ministry said.

The artwork aims to create an interaction and communication between robots and humans, according to the ministry.

The 2013 International Techno Art Exhibition will run until Oct.27.

(By Christie Chen)