Main Collaborators: Max Dean and Matt Donovan

The Robotic Chair may look like a generic wooden chair. Unlike most chairs, however, this one falls apart and puts itself back together. The Robotic Chair is guided by an overhead vision system and controlled over a wireless network by an external computer. Various algorithms govern the chair’s behavior, while the software is structured in such a way that the system can learn from its environment.

The Robotic Chair keeps its controls and technology hidden under a simple wooden veneer, making it high-tech in the most unassuming way. As the chair falls apart, gathers itself together and picks itself back up again and again, it reminds us not only of our fallibility, but also of our innate capacity for re-creating ourselves.

Since its completion in 2006, the Robotic Chair has fascinated young and old alike. It has been exhibited at IdeaCity in Canada, ARS Electronica in Austria, ARCO in Spain and the London Art fair, along with many other international venues. It is now a part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Canada.