enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Monday, March 01, 2004

Rise Robots! Rise and Take Las Vegas!

Large, evil robots will eventually enslave us all, bending us to their will and making a wasteland of all around us. Just replace "large, evil robots" with "slot machines" and you have just described Las Vegas. And while slot machines are already here, it looks as though robots will be decending on Las Vegas soon, or to be more exact at 4626 South Maryland Parkway on Wednesday the 3rd... 7pm... Starbucks... Ground Zero!

Artist Shan Michael (yes, no 's') will be presenting his new works in "RISE ROBOTS, RISE!!!", a collection of hell-bent robot-wreaking havoc, making a mess of things and just menacing everyone with their silent gaze. Just like the cappuccino machine. While highly graphic in look, each piece is lovingly crafted, with layers of hand-cut paper composing the elements that make up the works. Currently, none of his work is accessible online, so go to the Starbucks, order a Mocca Nutta Neutrino Atomic Roast and gaze lovingly into the eyes of your new masters.

But before science can provide us with the robotic armageddon that is the Matrix and the Terminator, there is much progress to be made. The Pentagon is trying to make all that happen, and it looks as if Vegas is in the crosshairs again. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed the Grand Darpa Challenge to encourage the evolution of autonomous robots. The intention is to have robots not only navigate unfamiliar and undocumented terrain, but do it quickly. Wired Magazine's article The Great Robot Race not only details the specifics of the contest and its goals; it has pictures of some of the teams' entries, ranging from a self-balancing motocross motorcycle to the driverless Hummer. It looks like the robots will be taking their speedy journey from California to Nevada. Vegas will be spared the impending doom though, with robots ending their journey near Primm. Then the locals will have to fend off the robots' attempts to steal their women and crowd in line at the buffets. That is, if any of them can make it. The problematic nature of the contest may mean that the desert will be littered with the carcasses of broken robots. And we will be safe for another day.

Darpa's Spectators section say that Buffalo Bill's will be providing a venue for watching the contest on Saturday, March 13, 2004 and their site states that, "...Arena seating will be open to the public beginning at 6 am. Live satellite feed will provide coverage from the Start Line for two hours. In addition, exhibits will be open from 9 am until 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday."

posted by Mr. Kimberly at