MIT Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics unveils the world first Robotic Mandala by Scribit

Scribit, the world’s first write&erase robot has teamed up with the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi - Director of The Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT and President of Prajnopaya Foundation at MIT - to develop the latest installment of the Scribit Originals series, to explore how technology can help people to discover and express their spirituality.

The collaboration with the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi  is the 6th installment of the Scribit Originals series, which aims to bring artworks by the world’s leading artists, designers and public intellectuals to the Scribit platform in order to share knowledge, a story, cause or concept: this time the universal message of balance and contemplation behind the art of Mandalas.

Scribit reinterprets the Mandala - a sacred geometric representation of the universe in Hinduism and Buddhism that draws the mind and the eyes inward as a tool for contemplation - into an artwork that can be drawn directly onto people’s walls. The collaboration is the first in a series of artworks celebrating spiritual life all around the world, as part of Scribit’s online platform for streaming visual content. The drawing was premiered at an event hosted by Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT Senseable City Laboratory and creator of the Scribit, and the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi at MIT CSAIL. The robotic mandala drawing can be downloaded by Scribit users from the Scribit app. 

Constructed to be dismantled immediately - to remind us of the transitory nature of material life - the meticulous process of creating the mandala is itself meditation, requiring great concentration. The symmetry of the drawing and its geometrical perfection is the result of a balanced creativity guided by wisdom and patience. Traditional mandalas are made using colored grains of sand or rice flour. Leveraging on Scribit write&erase technologies, the drawing can be erased recalling the tradition of destroying sand mandalas as a regenerative ritual.

As a spiritual leader, the Venerable Tenzin is deeply involved in discussions concerning humanity in an age of Artificial Intelligence and Social Media; how we approach technology is essential to understanding how humanity views itself, and this includes its spirituality. “Meditations on Mandala evokes deeper contemplation into the nature of reality” - says the Venerable Tenzin. “Working with Scribit, we tried to imagine how this ancient form of meditative practice can be brought to new life.”

The drawing is part of an ongoing series within the Scribit Originals project that seeks to explore various interpretations of spirituality in an effort to expand people’s awareness of other beliefs and cultures.


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