These three motivations are embodied in the mobile robot system, a platform that makes the intentions of the insect legible to a wide and diverse audience. Although technically and conceptually complex, the system is easily understood by young and old with little or no explanation. Individuals tend to watch the robot for extended periods of time, empathizing with the insect, and trying to discern whether or not the organism is controlling or being controlled by the technology... and whether it is aware of, immersed in, or pleased by its synthetic and mediated environment.
Yes, robotic technologies jump out of the pages of science fiction, and the ethical problems they raise seem too distant to consider, if not altogether unreal. But as Asimov foretold: “It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. … This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.”