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Image “The street finds its own use for things. It’s all in the mix.” — William Gibson
Feral Robotic Dog project is proof of this. It started with Natalie Jeremijenko, who advocated hacking robotic dogs and using them as a tool for exploring the environment. These wild dogs in effect became low cost sensor platforms, their movements an indicator of pollution levels. Other groups have adopted this feral robot concept.
So what about “public authoring”? Match this with Web 2.0 meme, for the phrase means simply giving tools to people for creating and sharing knowledge. The recent feral example combined hacked robots, wireless networks, and Google maps. This is the term du jour for helping “ordinary people adopt and adapt consumer technologies to do more than entertain them – to intervene socially and culturally in their environment.”
For more on this, listen to the Make piece on Natalie Jeremijenko and take a look at her Feral Robotic Dog project. (Sadly, the Megabyte hack tutorial has went the way of the WowWee Megabyte itself. That is to say, it is no longer available). Then check out her 2001 proposal to Proboscis, which led to a new breed of feral dogs and a recent field test in London.

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