Bot Time Stories 2015

10 robotics experts + 10 sci-fi writers = 10 tales of our technological future

Bot Time Stories is a book project for which we bring together ten contemporary masterminds from robotics research with ten sci-fi authors. The upshot is the formation of a series of creative duos, each of whose joint mission is to create a segment of futuristic history at the nexus of fact and fiction. In personal chats, the roboticists elaborate on their day-to-day work, the current state of knowledge and developments in their respective field of expertise, and their potential implications for our future life. These inputs serve each respective author as the point of departure for a narrative treatment of the particular theme. Each text-based artist then writes a fictional short story of about 3,000 words, whereby they are granted sufficient artistic license to further develop their partner’s inputs in a way that’s conducive to the narrative flow. Finally, the resulting texts are presented to graphic artists and three illustrations are created for each Bot Time Story.

 

Picture from the story “Swarm Effects,” created by author Andreas Eschbach and roboticist Thomas Schmickl, illustrated by Stefan Eibelwimmer
Picture from the story “Swarm Effects,” created by author Andreas Eschbach and roboticist Thomas Schmickl, illustrated by Stefan Eibelwimmer

 

We were able to win over world-leading roboticists, award-winning writers, and highly creative illustrators to take part in Bot Time Stories. Among others, the participating roboticists include Hiroshi Ishiguro, inventor of the lifelike Geminoids, Sarah Bergbreiter, expert in micro robotics, Guy Hoffman, winner of the IEEE robot design competition, or Anouk Wipprecht, designer of robotic fashion. Our authors include Andreas Eschbach, best-selling German Sci-Fi writer, Elizabeth Bear, winner of multiple Hugo awards, or Andrea Hairston, African-American fantasy author.

With its innovative approach, Bot Time Stories can attract a large international readership, among them sci-fi aficionados, students and scholars in robotics, IT, computer science and related disciplines, futurologists and trend scouts, or just persons with a high general interest in robotics, technology and the future of our day-to-day life. The Bot Time Stories will be published in print and as a digital reader in the near future.

The project is partly funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme in the frame of “Studiolab,” a European network that bridges divides between science and art.

 

Home Sweet Home
Picture from the story “Home Sweet Home,” created by author Anja Rützel and roboticist Guy Hoffman, illustrated by Nicolas Naveau

Credit:

Christopher Lindinger, Martina Mara