A small robot on wheels that was made to avoid people and plants as part of Desert X can no longer be found.
Desert X, an odd collection of sites in the Coachella Valley that contain everything from a mirrored house to a wavy wall to billboards with photos of the landscape directly behind them, is currently going on throughout Greater Palm Springs.
One of the exhibits is a wheeled robot named Shybot that was made to avoid humans and plants and that was left to wander on its own – because, you know, art! Unfortunately, now it can not be found.
“I don’t think shy bot has been destroyed or harmed,” the robot’s creator, an Italian artist who uses the very American alias Norma Jeane, told the New York Times.
“My instinct,” he said in a phone interview, “is that somebody with electronics experience probably picked her up to keep her and dismantled the batteries that allowed the data transmission,” which includes info on the bot’s location and an infrared sensor.
“We are pretty sad, but we knew she would disappear eventually,” the artist told the newspaper. “The goal wasn’t to get shy bot back but to provide her with all possible chances to get lost.”
Desert X is now offering a $1,000 reward for the return of Shybot, notes KMIR. The television station says that Desert X is currently running 20 billboards around LA and San Diego about the missing robot.
A separate art installation called “Third Place” was also shut down in Desert Hot Springs, was also shut down as, within a week of opening, it was torn to shreds.
Desert X is scheduled to run through April 30, if the exhibits can make it that long.