Turin’s art museum lets a robot be the guide

Turin’s art museum lets a robot be the guide

R1 can answer your questions about the exhibit you see

The Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Turin (GAM Torino) is the oldest Italian museum dedicated to the exhibition of works of modern art. These days, it has again shown itself as a forward-thinking institution with the introduction of a robot guide, which helps visitors better understand the exhibits.

R1 is the name of the humanoid robot that leads art lovers through the corridors of the museum. It was designed by a team from the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa led by Lorenzo Natale, with input from Tim and Ericsson. It flashes, lights up, raises its arms and moves on wheels. It works thanks to a remote server equipped with artificial intelligence, to which it connects via 5G.

It is also designed for home use

The heads of the didactic section of the museum, Antonella Angeloro, Giorgia Rochas and Federica Sesia, provided the “artistic knowledge” content used by R1. At the moment, this is an experimental race to see how well the interaction between people and the robot will go.

R1 has not only “memorized” a lot of information about the exhibited works, but is also able to understand and answer questions related to the exhibition. Once the questions have been asked, he asks that the space in front of him be cleared so that he can continue the visit.

The robot, however, was not specifically designed to function solely as a museum guide. In fact, its designers at the Institute of Technology explain on their website that it was created with the idea of ​​helping humans in a variety of settings, such as at home or at work.

R1 is intended to show the feasibility of creating an affordable service humanoid robot. The approximate cost of R1 would be on the order of a small family car, and possibly when produced in large quantities, its price will be significantly lower. The problem of cost has been approached in three directions: with the use of polymeric materials, lightweight design and the implementation of new actuation solutions.

Since 2019, we have been part of the European 5G Tours project, which aims to demonstrate the possible application areas of these networks”, explained Anna Follo, digital manager of the Fondazione Torino Musei (the organization that manages the city’s art museums), quoted by The Republic. She mentioned that this project goes beyond the use of 5G technology in tourism, to also include mobility and healthcare applications.

Mildred D. Field