By Eleri Syveryson | Interactive Installation

This project was a study in human-robot interaction. I attached writing instruments and a paint dispenser to two floor-sweeping “Roomba” style robots, and then let them run in a small pen lined with paper. I also left paints and markers out for people to use and encouraged them to interact with the exhibit however they wished. Roombas and similar autonomous household machines are interesting to me in part because users sometimes become endeared to them and want to spend time interacting with these machines (which is funny, because the intention of a household robot is to spare people the time and attention they would otherwise have needed to spend completing that chore). I wanted to see how people would observe and interact with this type of machine in a different environment and on an unstructured task — whether they would assist them, interrupt them, or collaborate with them.

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