Robots Give Nighttime Tours at Tate

One of the "After Dark" robots. Photo ©2014 the Workers, London Ltd.

Tate Britain is letting visitors explore its art galleries at night, at the helm of remote-controlled robots. For its five-day event “After Dark,” the London museum will collaborate with the digital design studio the Workers to allow Internet users guide a fleet of four robots around Tate’s “500 Years of British Art” exhibition between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. local time from August 13–17.


One of the robots The Workers created to explore Tate Britain.
Photo via video screengrab.

The nocturnal robot adventure might never have happened, the Guardian reports, if Tate Media’s creative director Jane Burton hadn’t rescued the Workers’ proposal from the discarded submission pile of IK Prize projects. The prize, which was just given out for the first time, recognizes projects that use digital technology to make art more accessible.


One of the robots The Workers created to explore Tate Britain.
Photo via video screengrab.

While just about anyone will be able to log on to the “After Dark” website and take command of a robot starting the evening of August 13, the Workers tapped a very well-trained test pilot: former International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield.

“You forget about the robot in your hands, and it just becomes an extension of your mind—that’s how technology ought to be,” Hadfield told the Guardian.

Watch a behind-the-scenes preview of “After Dark” at Tate Britain:

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