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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

The Institute for Applied Autonomy

Entries like Graffiti Writer are seductive on their entertainment value alone but this one uses its clever presentation to force a deeper examination of our relationship to society, law and self expression.

A Tactical Platform for
Remote Content Deployment

The advent of next generation military/police technologies for urban use has made engaging in active social insurgency an increasingly risky venture. Real-time video surveillance systems1, networked databases, urban infiltration robots2, and a flurry of “nonviolent” restraint and subjugation technologies threaten to have a chilling effect on traditional methods of cultural resistance, particularly the creation and dissemination of subversive texts. The Robotic GraffitiWriter (GW) was developed in response to the need for a high speed, teleoperated, portable platform that operates beyond the line of sight (BLOS) to disseminate unsanctioned content in the dynamic adversarial urban environment. In repeated testing, this system has proven its effectiveness on such high risk/high profile targets as the U.S. Capital Building as well as numerous urban commercial and municipal spaces in the US and abroad.

Following its first full year of active service, an in-depth technological assessment was performed on GraffitiWriter. During this time several significant upgrades were made to GraffitiWriter including
a full mechanical and electronic sub-system
overhaul. With these improvements, GW now
meets the requirements of strategic transportability,
operating with extreme confidence in standard threat scenarios including public parks, federal
buildings, and shopping malls.


1 Kanade, Collins and Lipton. “Advances in Cooperative Multi-Sensor Video Surveillance”. Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 1998.2 US Army Research Laboratories, “Pandora: A Robotic System for Operations in Urban Environments - Final Design Document”, official contract report submission,
March 1998.