Robotic arms @ Trafalgar Square

Visitors to Trafalgar Square (and especially late night club-goers on their way home) saw a pretty interesting sight this weekend plopped in the middle of T-Square: robotic arms that use bright lights to spell out messages created by members of the public.

* The eight robots are an art installation, created as part of the London Design Festival, which starts on Saturday and runs for nine days throughout the capital.

Designed by Reed Kram and Clemens Weisshaar, the installation - called Outrace - will let members of the public control the robotic arms to spell out messages they submit via the Outrace website.

The messages are written by the robots - which have been borrowed from an Audi car factory - using lights (and in a typeface specially designed by London typographer Khashayar Naimanan).

Visitors to Trafalgar Sqare won't see much in the way of comprehensible messages, in any case - they'll just see a load of robots waving lights around. The messages only become apparent on videos shot from around the robot's platform, which are then displayed on the project's website for people to view.

Outrace will run until September 23, so you've still got time to submit your message - which is limited to the half-tweet length of 70 characters. *

Now if only these robots could be put to use as an architectural production line... see: Brick Laying Robotic Arm