CNR 2016: Program

The Fifth edition of the international robot performance festival Cafe Neu Romance took take place from the 24th of October to 26th of October 2016 in Prague.

24 October:

Venue: NTK (National Technical Library)

Participate in the first edition of Prague Hebocon, which is a robot sumo-wrestling competition for those who are not technically gifted.

0. "Wake up, Puppet, the Golden Rooster is calling you!" (15:00-22:00)

The main theme of Cafe Neu Romance 2016 is titled "Wake up, Puppet, the Golden Rooster is calling you!", because it is 90 years ago since a famous Czech puppet was born, and 150 years ago the automaton the Golden Rooster was added to the Astronomical Clock in Prague. During this opening day of Cafe Neu Romance 2016 we hope that many people would come to NTK (The National Technical Library) and make crappy sumo-wrestling robots for the competition Prague Hebocon which runs in the evening, plus learn more about the automata of the Astronomical Clock in Prague by the lecture of the clockmaker of the clock, Petr Skala, and watch the American movie Hugo by Martin Scorsese about a boy who build an automaton.

15:00: CNR 2016: Workshop: Prague Hebobon: Crappy robot sumo-wrestling contest
18:00: CNR 2016: Opening of Cafe Neu Romance 2016
18:15: CNR 2016: Competitions: Prague Hebocon: Crappy robot sumo-wrestling contest
19:00:  CNR 2016: Lectures: Petr Skála (CZE): The Astronomical Clock in Prague
20:00: CNR 2016: Movies: Martin Scorsese (USA): HUGO (including a short speech before the movie will be screened by Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer Tony Jones of the U.S. Embassy in Prague)

Watch the Award-Winning Movie Hugo by Martin Scorsese during the opening of Cafe Neu Romance 2016. Before it will be screened Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer Antony Jones of the American Embassy in Prague will give an introduction to the movie.

25 October:

Venue: Institute of Intermedia (IIM), Czech Technical University, Prague.

From 10 am on the 25 October to 12 am the day after, the presentations at the Institute of Intermedia (IIM) will focus on 1. Robots and the Society of Future. 2. Robots, Art and Sound, 3. Robots, Dramaturgy and Interaction, 4. Robotics, Architecture and Movement, 5. Robot Theatre and Performance (talks + workshop).

Come to the lecture with the German Professor Manfred Hild, when he is going to talk about the Design Principles of the Humanoid Robot Myon that also played a role in the robot-opera My Square Lady.

1. Robots and the Society of the Future (9:30-11:30)

How far are we with the current development of robots and AI? - And what kind of things can we expect in the future in these areas? What does it mean to be human in a society where we are surrounded with more and more advanvanced technologies? These are some of the topics you can archieve more knowledge about in the section: "Robots and the Society of the Future", where you can meet Vaclav Janoscik, assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and Department of Photography at FAMU in Prague, Danish independent AI-researcher Philip Hilm and Manfred Hild, who is a Professor of Digital Systems at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany.

9:30: CNR 2016: Lectures: Vaclav Janoscik (CZE): The Robot Within
10:00:  CNR 2016: Lectures: Philip Hilm (DNK): The existential risk from artificial intelligence
10:30: CNR 2016: Lectures: Manfred Hild (GER): Design Principles of the Humanoid Robot Myon: Why was it built that way?
11:00: Panel Discussion: Philip Hilm (DNK), Manfred Hild (GER)

Come to the talk by Japanese Mulitmedia and Robotics Artist Suguru Goto, who will talk about his robotics works for music and performance.

2. Robots, Art and Sounds (13:00-15:00)

What kind of music is easy to make robotics? How far is AI with composing songs? What does robotics and artificial intelligence add to music and art, that humans are not able to do? In this panel you'll meet Suguru Goto, a media artist, an inventor and a performer who is considered as one of the most innovative persons of a new generation of Japanese artists, Milan Gustar, who beside of his collaborations with David Cerny, Kristof Kintera and Federico Diaz, also is considered as one of the finest Czech artist into electronic avantgarde sounds, and the Czech Professor and Indie-musician Blanka Maderova, who took her Post-Doc at Harvard University.

13:00  CNR 2016: Lectures: Suguru Goto (JPN):  My robot works for music and performance
13:30   CNR 2016: Lectures: Milan Gustar (CZE): Physical and virtual robotics in art
14:00  CNR 2016: Lectures: Blanka Maderova (CZE): Musical Performance, Grain of the Voice and Composition: New Realms for Artificial Intelligence?
14:30: Panel Discussion: Suguru Goto (JPN), Milan Gustar (CZE), Blanka Maderova (CZE)

Meet the Danish Author, Poet and Interactiondesigner Michael Valeur, who has got many memories from the days of the Velvet Revoltion since he worked on an opera in Prague together with Vlasta Stamfest and Michael Kocáb. In Prague he will present the play The Robot's Anatomy which he has written.

3. Robots, Dramaturgy and Interaction (15:15-17:30)

Is it more difficult to make a good drama on stage with robots than with humans? How can you create a play with robots that can appeal and attrack humans emotions for them? What kind of challenges is special for human robot interaction compared with human human interaction? Meet Danish Author, Poet and Interactiondesigner Michael Valeur, the German director and software developer Friedrich Kirshner, and French Fabrice Noreils, who has got a PhD in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

15:15  CNR 2016: Lectures: Michael Valeur (DNK): The Anatomy of the Robot
15:45  CNR 2016: Lectures: Friedrich Kirschner (GER): Robots as subjects vs. Robots as Symbols. Tales from the trenches of using robots as puppets in theatre performances
16:30  CNR 2016: Lectures: Fabrice Noreils (FRA): A TATLETALE BOT or how to create a robot such that the audience is able to form emotional bond with?
17:00: Panel Discussion: Friedrich Kirschner (GER), Fabrice Noreils (FRA), Michael Valeur (DNK)

Architect Phil Ayres of CITA in Copenhagen will talk about the EU-funded Flora-Robotica project, which is a bio-hybrid system, with a mixture of natural and artificial organisms.

4. Robotics, Architecture and Movement (17:45-19:45)

How can you analyse the movement of a robot? How can people collaborate with robots and learn from each other? How can you create organic robotic plant systems? And what kind of architecture can we epect in the future by the use of robotics? In the last panel on the 25th October you can meet the Czech dancer, choreograph and Rudolf Laban expert Rena Milgrom, the robotics researcher Sven Stumm, who is is currently leading the robotic programming research team at the chair for Individualized Production in architecture at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, and Phil Ayres architect, researcher and educator at CITA (Centre for Information Technology and Architecture), Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark.

17:45: CNR 2016: Lectures: Rena Milgrom (CZE): Rudolf Laban and his movement analysis
18:15:  CNR 2016: Lectures: Sven Stumm (GER): Towards synthesis of human and robotic work through haptic programming and interactive learning
18:45: CNR 2016: Lectures: Phil Ayres (DNK/GBR): Robotics in Architecture - paradigms and perspectives
19:15: Panel Discussion: Rena Milgrom (CZE), Sven Stumm (GER), Phil Ayres (DNK/GBR)

26 October:

Venue: Institute of Intermedia (IIM), Czech Technical University, Prague.

The Canadian Professor of Japanese literature and theatre Cody Poulton will do a talk about the Human Android Theatre Play Sayonara.

5. Robot Theatre and Performance (9:30-11:30)

What is unique and special about theatrical and performative approaches to robotics? Can robots have a soul, or a virtual alter ego, and if yes, how will they perform on stage?  How can you give life to a robot? How can puppetry influence on robotic art and robot performances? Three leading researchers from Australia, Canada and USA, who all are in the field of robotics and theatre will invite you to a discussion on Robot, Theatre and Performance in the last panel of Cafe Neu Romance 2016. Meet Director of Research in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Australia, Edward Scheer, Professor of Japanese literature and theatre Cody Poulton, and Elizabeth Jochum, who is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University in Denmark.

9:30: CNR 2016: Lectures: Edward Scheer (AUS): Meta Robotics: Modes of anthropomorphism in Robot Theatre
10:00: CNR 2016: Lectures: Cody Poulton (CAN): Spectral Presences of Media and Machinery in Contemporary Japanese Performance
10:30: CNR 2016: Lectures: Elizabeth Jochum (USA): Deus Ex Machina: Robots and Puppets in the 21st Century
11:00: Panel Discussion: Edward Scheer (AUS), Cody Poulton (CAN), Elizabeth Jochum (USA)

6. Robot Theatre and Performance Workshop (13:00-16:00)

Join the workshop on robot theatre and performance in the afternoon. Here you will be working together with some of the many great participants of this year's Cafe Neu Romance, which officially will End at 4 pm.

The American co-founder of Robot Culture and Aesthetics research group at the University of Copenhagen Elizabeth Jochum is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. In Prague she will give two talks, where she also will mention the Blind Robot project by artist Louis-Phillipe Demers. One at Cafe Neu Romance, and one at the American Center.

[image source: Vive Les Robots!]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]

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Cafe Neu Romance 2016:


The Danish "robot" marketing and event firm Vive Les Robots! was the main organizer of Cafe Neu Romance.


The Gallery of the National Technical Library in Prague, Galerie NTK, was the co-organizer of Cafe Neu Romance.


The Institute of Intermedia (IIM) at the Czech Technical University, was a special partner of Cafe Neu Romance.