Artificial intelligence and robotics will play an increasingly important role in supporting our lives. Currently, AI and robotics remain crude – confined to our smartphones, sat-navs, or tasked to build our cars. To fit more seamlessly into our daily lives they will have to learn to successfully reflect our emotions-embarrassment for example. This project is an investigation into how through material, form and function a robot can come to express emotion, without aping and alienating us.
Embarrassment is a quintessential social emotion and something that in the future any robot occupying a human facing role will need to be able to replicate. My project proposes an investigation into how the design of a robot can come to express embarrassment.
Why "Embarrassed" robots?
Psychologists have described embarrassment as an “interactive device” for human social life, as this emotion can be only experienced with others present. Most of the people would not willing to experience this emotion in public, however, once they experienced the emotion cannot be hidden. Although this emotion is not desirable, embarrassment certainly has a critical role in our social life. However, not many designs or technologies are aware of the importance of this emotion.
By developing social robots that are demanded to be able to express this important social emotion, this project asks the audiences to be involved in testing what robot behaviours would lead them to perceive more socially and culturally accepted. Also by illustrating these social robots in the future scenarios, the project tries to discuss how this undesirable emotion would play a functional role for emerging technology and design.