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Tate may let you explore museum galleries using robots or 'Minecraft'

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tate britain (shutterstock)
tate britain (shutterstock)

Come July, you might find yourself exploring Tate Britain's art galleries with a remote-control robot, inside the world of Minecraft, through an interactive animation, or within a collection of online comments. Only one of these elaborate proposals will be turned into a reality though, and the Tate Museum wants to give the public — the group of people it's hoping these projects will engage with — some say on which.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales will also be judging

Anyone interested will be able to cast a vote through this Friday. The public won't have complete say on the winner though: a panel of judges initially selected these four proposals from a larger group of submissions, and those judges will have the lion's share of the ultimate vote. The six-person jury has some big names on it though, including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and the Guardian's head of technology, Jemima Kiss.

Each of the projects is ambitious, though each in a different way. The Minecraft recreation won't simply rebuild the museum, it'll also create entire worlds out of many of its paintings, letting players explore, interact with, and learn about the history and worlds inside the works of art. And the robot proposal would actually allow views to steer robots around the museum's galleries at night, sharing their view and comments with others.

The other projects expand that focus of presenting others' views of art. The interactive animation will present the museum through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, while the online comments proposal will develop stories around various works from the museum, share them online, and follow how they're passed around and commented on. The creators of the chosen project won't have long to get it done, but the museum will be giving them a prize and a £60,000 (around $98,500) development budget to turn it into reality. Whichever is chosen, exploring Tate Britain should soon be a bit more accessible — and engaging — than usual.