Rob Saunders is a Senior Lecturer in Design Computing at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney. Rob’s research engages with creative agency, computational curiosity, and robotic art. Rob collaborates with artists and designers to apply his research in design customisation systems, interactive installations and robotic artworks.

His work Acomplice, created with Petra Gemeinboeck, will be on display as part of MAAP’s partner exhibition with the National Art Museum of China- thingworld: International Triennial of New Media Art 

Accomplice is a large-scale robotic art installation that embeds autonomous robots into the walls of the museum. The work nestles itself into our human environment and turns it into the playground for a colony of curious, social machines. Each robot is equipped with a motorised punch to transform its environment and express its desires. Collectively, they explore, learn, play and conspire by knocking against the wall, producing holes and patterns that mark their social evolution. Audiences, at first, encounter this hidden machinery through their relentless knockings, and soon can catch a glimpse, as the robots pierce through the wall to construct elaborate patterns of scares and holes.

For more information on thingworld, visit


ROB SAUNDERS + PETRA GEMEINBOECK, Accomplice, 2012. Electronics, custom artificial intelligence software, aluminium, steel, wood, plasterboard.