Tisch School of the Arts student Kacie Kinzer describes the goal of the experiment here (in that academic-ese one grows out of the minute one has to work a real job):
I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself? To answer these questions, I built robots.
She released it amidst the crowds in Washington Square Park with a flag on its head that announced its intended destination and since it can only move forward, whether or not the tweenbot got there depended upon strangers guiding it past obstacles like trash ditches, guard rails, and other NYU students.
What follows is an adorable and heartening video of the journey: