SHErobots: Tool, Toy, Companion

Year: 2022
Organisers: Dr. Dagmar Reinhardt (USYD), Dr. Lian Loke (USYD), and Dr. Deborah Turnbull Tillman (UNSW)
Collaborators: Henriette Bier (NL), Sigrid Brell-Cokcan (DE), Mollie Claypool, Melissa Mean & Claire McAndrew (UK), Kathrin Doerfler & Romana Rust (CH), Kate Dunn and Charlotte Firth (AU), Belinda Dunstan (AU), Shayani Fernando (AU), Ena Lloret Fritschi and Selen Ercan Jenny (CH), Galath3a - Gili Ron & Irina Bogdan (DE), Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders with Rochelle Haley (AU), Nadja Gaudillière-Jami & Max Benjamin Eschenbach (DE), Heba Khamis (AU), Elena Knox (JP), Lian Loke (AU), Lynn Masuda (AU), Dagmar Reinhardt (AU), Ninotschka Titchkosky, Chris Bickerton & Rodney Watt (AU), Anthea Elizabeth Sims & Mary-Anne Williams (AU), Stefana Parascho (CH) & Isla Xi Han (US), Gabrielle Rossi & Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen (DK), Müge Belek Fialho Teixeira, Maryam Shafiei, Glenda Amayo Caldwell and Shabnam Lotfian in collaboration with Fred Fialho Teixeira, Jared Donovan, Alan Burden and Ayman Wagdy (AU), Lauren Vasey (DE), Mari Velonaki in collaboration with David Rye, Steve Scheding & Stefan Williams (AU)
Partners:  USYD, UNSW, Tinsheds, TU Delft, Delft Robotics Institute, and Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands, Australia
Date: 20 October to 10 December 2022
Location: Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, Australia


The promised Female Future has arrived in robotics, radically reshaping practices of design, industrial, construction, manufacturing, social and cultural robotics. We bring together iconic and emerging examples of robotic tools, toys and companions from across the globe. The exhibition asks fundamental questions about the nature and processes of contemporary robotics through the lens of female perspectives.


We are on the brink of a new world of living with robots. As with any technology, what we make in turn remakes us. Now is the time to critically question who participates in the creation of new forms of robots, and how. We are witnessing the rise of the Female Future, where women are leading and radically reshaping practices of design, industrial, construction, manufacturing, social and cultural robotics. Implicit in female-led robotic practices is the overturning of patriarchal values towards a progressive more-than-human paradigm grounded in collaboration, care and mutual respect. Feminist values infuse research approaches, working processes and the production of robotic artefacts that mirror, subvert or transform accepted ideas.

The exhibition is the first of its kind in Australia and provides a platform for engagement with ongoing research and creative practice in contemporary robotics from a female perspective. It charts and builds upon a history of expert research and output of women pioneering work in robotics, drawn from a global cross-disciplinary network situated throughout Europe, Japan, Canada, USA and Australia. The exhibition will showcase large-scale industrial robots, moving machines, interactive AI artworks and performances, archival material, art and documentary films, and creative objects fabricated live by robots.

Women are experimenting with building new robotic forms, hacking, adapting and programming off-the-shelf robots, and creating new materials and structures with robots. They are rethinking artificial intelligence from an indigenous worldview, integrating robots into traditional feminine practices, and asking feminist questions on gender roles to unsettle the status quo.

SHErobots will function as a living laboratory, inviting students, researchers, industry, and community to actively and physically explore ideas, prototypes and processes. The associated program of events includes public talks, onsite and online workshops, and live performances. It seeks to seed new opportunities and collaborations for female voices leading the disruption into traditional robotics towards a network of critical and creative practice, as well as inspiring girls to consider STEAM as an exciting career path.

Download the exhibition catalogue



This project has been implemented with support of USYD, UNSW, Tinsheds, TU Delft, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands, Australia.