www.cambridge-news.co.uk/ news/city/ 2005/06/14/0e7784d2-8c48-40b5-9694-d4f0a
ROBOTIC bins which move and benches that flock together and sing when the sun comes out have lost their sense of direction.
The solar-powered moving street furniture was unveiled on Thursday but a series of crashes saw them turned off before the day was out. Costing £110,000, the machines are supposed to roam freely about the Cambridge Leisure site in Clifton Road 24 hours a day. Commissioned by the Junction, the project has made the news across the UK.
Gordon Glass, spokesman for the Junction, said: "On the launch day they were showing signs of some anti-social behaviour and kept on being intimate with the bike racks and each other. "The artists felt there was no other option but to take them away."
The five metal bins and four wooden benches are now back in the hands of their creators, Greyworld - a London-based artistic collective. Once the problems have been ironed out, the solar-powered machines are expected be re-released on to the old Cattle Market site in two weeks' time.
In heavy rain they will head for cover and on sunny days they will even break into song. All of them are fitted with alarms to deter thieves and vandals.
Greyworld's unusual project was picked from a shortlist of seven ideas for how to use space at the new leisure park. Funding has come from the Arts Council, Lottery grants and developers of Cambridge Leisure, Turnstone Estates.
Paul Bogen , director of the Junction, said: "The aim was to create a groundbreaking work of pioneering art which would attract attention and engage wider interest in the potential of art and technology in public spaces."