Session 1: July 12-23, 2021
Artificial intelligence is becoming ubiquitous in today's society from the factory floor to our homes. Sometimes learned and other times hardcoded, the intelligence that informs the behavior of devices such as self-driving cars, toys or nursebots functions in a narrow, pre-defined domain. But as the complexity of our systems grows, as our passive toys start to become responsive playmates, our interactions with robots will become ever more important and intimate.
In this studio, students will explore the ever evolving landscape of robotics and artificial intelligence, examining how robotics can start to play an integral role in navigating social scenarios and interpersonal communication. We will question what defines a robot and what separates robots from other forms of technology. The circumstances of the current events have created entirely novel social scenarios and barriers to communication that we didn't have to deal with previously. In this studio, students will be tasked with designing robotic interventions that can help mend these social dynamics and add a level of expression to robot/human interaction through telepresence machines.
Students will work with experts in human-robot interaction and create a robot that uses sensors and effectors to emulate a more "human" interaction. Students will use microprocessor electronics, 3D modeling software, and prototyping techniques to design, build and activate their social robots. They will learn how to create behaviors using external sensors (from simple switches and buttons to heat/temperature, light, gas, touch) and actuators (such as motors, lights, speakers, solenoids, valves, fans) into their designs to create responsive social robots.