Multimedia News

Lewkowitz conducts social experiment using ‘human-powered’ robot

Photo by Mr. Noah Lewkowitz '98 - Bert sits in the Graham Plaza holding directions in October.

By Julian De Ocampo ’13 & Roan Enright ’13

With the masses of students strolling through campus in October, it was easy to miss a small stranger in need of help.

The stranger, named Bert, was actually a small robot made of cardboard with a GoPro video camera embedded in his chest.

His placement in the Graham Plaza was part of a social experiment conducted by Mr. Noah Lewkowitz ’98 Oct. 25 to see whether or not students would take the time to observe Bert and aid him.

Bert carried a sign with the directions to move him to Loyola Academy – only five steps at a time before someone else had to take a turn.

Although some students responded in ways antithetical to Bert’s goals – knocking him over, carrying him in the wrong direction – Bert found his way to his destination after roughly 25 minutes.