Shy Bot, the Desert X rover that went missing, has been found

Shy Bot, a 6-wheeled rover that was part of the initial Desert X lineup of art installations in 2017 until it went missing just a few weeks in, has been found in Palm Springs.

The bot was released into the desert in February of 2017 and I am really not sure what was expected by those behind the rover’s release, but whatever those plans were died quickly as Shy Bot almost immediatly disappeared and its GPS tracking device stopped working.

At the time, the robot’s creator, an Italian artist who went by the alias Norma Jeane told the New York Times that he believed it was a “botnapping”.

“My instinct is that somebody with electronics experience probably picked her up to keep her and dismantled the batteries that allowed the data transmission,” he told the newspaper.

Desert X issued a $1,000 reward for the return of Shy Bot and still nothing, that is until Kyle Gomez of Cathedral City stumbled upon the thing while driving his Jeep off-road, according to The Art Newspaper.

Gomez scanned a QR code that was on the rover and through that got in contact with Desert X and now Shy Bot is back in their hands and he has the $1,000 reward.


Desert X will return to the Coachella Valley on February 9, 2019.

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