Because they make me cry so much! Because they bring out the best in people!
NYU student (holla) Kacie Kinzer created the bots as part of a school project. Each bot (like the guy pictured above) has a sign indicating directions (i.e. "Help me get to the southwest corner of Washington Square Park!"). He can only move in a straight line, so he counts on passerby to point him in the right direction.
"The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, "You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”SNIFFFFFF. As I was saying in my Pooh post, inanimate objects can be really special sometimes.
Kacie has more bots on the way. I can't wait!
Thanks to my sis Suzanne for the tip!