PI: Sean Follmer, PhD
As ubiquitous robots move into our homes and workplaces, we believe that they will be increasingly embedded into everyday objects and furniture (chairs, lamps, even clothing), making these once passive objects now active. Users will not interact with single robots in a dyadic setting, but instead will need to interact with many robots at different scales. Traditionally, interior, product, and fashion designers have focused on the design of static objects however, with these new ubiquitous robotic products they will need to consider interaction, space, multiplicity, and time in ways that they have not previously. How can we enable designers to prototype and author interactions with swarms of ubiquitous robots? Our proposal is to develop embodied and improvisational design tools to allow designers to prototype ubiquitous robotic interfaces quickly and expressively. Previously, we have designed three ubiquitous robotics platforms that will serve as the basis of this work. We will first work with domain experts to develop new tools for authoring interactions. In addition, we believe embodied and physical design tools will help create more socially acceptable robot interaction design, and we will evaluate this by comparing our design tools to a traditional animation tool.