Creepy Furniture Watch

by Zoe Pollock

Robert Krulwich backs away from the disturbing project of artists/designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau who make meat-eating furniture, like a fly-eating clock and a mouse consuming coffee table:

They say their furniture is just a newfangled version of all those nature shows on television that show animals hunting in the wild. Having a clock on your wall that "hunts" flies is a kind of theater. ... I suppose they are right to make us think harder about who we are and what we want, but I worry a little that Auger, Loizeau, the engineers at Bristol Robotics and robot-makers generally get so excited by the daring novelty of their designs that they fail to notice that they've crossed a line.

"We want robots to be able to get their own energy from the environment," says Professor Melhuish. Fair enough. But giving robots a taste for flesh seems just a touch wrong-headed.