This Project is a robot restructuring the area of a space to be a hinderance to human traffic. The intervention is to see peoples reactions about a perceived autonomous robot causing discourse.
Time: Tuesday May 14th 3:00 – 7:00. Wednesday 1:30 – 4:30.
The Strategy: Block entrances ways, doorways and stairways with the plants, chairs and trash cans.
This will see if people react to the hinderance and try to reset the area, or just ignore the blockade and move on.
“Robots allow you to do things you wouldn’t do”
Robots are semi invisible to people. Bystanders assume robot is infallible and executing it task. If robot is doing something strange, spectates assume it to be a bug in the program or error. But the robot itself is never wrong.
Due to this infallible mask. I able able to cause discourse is a public space without receiving backlash or punishment of any sort.
When robot first attempted to move chair, people found it to be entertaining and laughable. During operation, robot would continually hit chair to move it, making a large noise. It would then precisely angle it with little nudges until block was properly positioned. Robot successfully blocked first entrance with chair and plant. People did not stop the robot. People did not remove blockade, neither did the custodians. Flow of traffic through that entrance did stop. But there were two other entrances people could easily use, so the discourse had not yet reached a level of inconvenience.
When Robot successful blocked all three entrances, spectators would first try to reset chairs, then impede the robot, and then eventual turn off robot all together. Robot is now a nuisance to society, both in impeding traffic and noise pollution. (Many onlookers evacuated the area due to the robots loud operations.) The robot, first perceived as innocent, is now deem a menace and hence is executed by public.
Changing the architecture of a space:
Robot has power to change it’s environment. It is actively attempting to disrupt the natural flow.People tolerate this disruption until it becomes too much of an hinderances and then take action.
NapBot. A robotic bed that follows CMU students and asks them to take a nap. This project was inspired by the relevant sleep deprivation habit myself and other CMU students encounter. NapBot offer a portable napping area that you can take around campus. Instead of leaving your bed in the morning why not take it with you.
Through tele-operation, NapBot can transport students while they sleep. So student can get to there next class on time while catching some snooze. The head rest dome offer a sense of privacy to the user. It provides shade form the sun, and doubles a a whiteboard for studying, note taking, or free draw.
NapBot can initialize 5 min and 10 min nap sequences. First, user presses one of the nap buttons, then after the set time period is over, NapBot proceed to wake the user up with an alarm.
Elements/Tech: Nomad 200 series robot beneath a bed sheet in order to give the appearance of a night stand. A narrow air mattress rests upon a bike attachable flatbed hook to the robot. The robot is tele-operated via radio control. the dome is fixed to 80/20 upon the flat bed. The dome can lift up for bed mounting. The radio control utilizes an arduino and xbee. The robots voice is established using a Raspberry Pi and small speaker within the robot. the power source in a battery with an AC to DC Inverter and a power supple to maintain the appropriate voltage for the motor controller. A lamp is added to the top, to complete the nightstand appearance.
Reactions: A Motorized Bed can be intimidating, there were instances where students actively avoided it or were curious but to cautious to interact with it. Hiding the robot I assumed would make the bed more approachable. but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. NapBot approach startles spectators. The robot speech gave the bed an extra level of personality. Student clearly understood its purpose.
Improvements: Timing is key, Midday test run from 1-4 on a sunny day did not receive the expected response. Student were too lively and awake to make use of NapBot, and thus proceed to ignore it or ride it like a carnival ride. Also during midday, student s are in a rush and too busy to interact with the bed. The lateNight test run from 8 to 10, was instantly recognized. At that time people utilized NapBot for rest.
Clarity is important. At first glance spectators are confused and unsure how to of NapBots purpose. By write the message “Take a Nap?” and by having NapBot vocally introduce itself to people, this problem was resolve. Breakdowns are inevitable. The robot broke down 7 times on the first trial. And twice on the second. Either communication cuts out, vibrations knock electronics lose, wheel threads brake, robot tips over, batteries die (9volts = so little ampHours), nightstand sheet gets lodged in drivetrain, or air mattress pops.
All things considered, NapBot was a successful Urban Intervention
In this project, a robot intervenes in public and attempts to have casual conversation with people. Unscripted and unrehearsed, we observe peoples natural reactions to robots and how the dynamics of dialog and interactions play out.
I am puppeteering this robot for a hidden location. People are unaware if this robot is autonomous or tele-operated.
Telepresence: I am able to semi-transfer my person through this robot. Using a fat shark vision system, I see what the robots camera sees. Using a wireless speaker system, the robot speaks what I speak. With remote controlled mobile system I can move the robot to where I would go.
This enables me to interact with people through the disguise of a robot.
“Robots allow you to do things you wouldn’t normally do.”
With this robot, I can harass people, talk to complete strangers, use pickup lines on girls, scare little children, sell chocolate, and cause public disruption. I can do all this without punishment or reprimand. Robots are perceived as infallible innocent creatures.
People don’t know how to react. Robot takes upon a character of a curios innocent looking to make friends, explore, and initiate conversation.
Choice Interactions [with video time]:
– Waking up a sleeping person form a nap.[6:15]
– Accidentally terrifying a 8-year-old. [2:48]
– Flattering a girl, then pursuing her. [5:06]
– selling two chocolate bars. (“Am i really about to buy a chocolate bar off this robot right now? Do i need this experience in my life?”) [3:46]
– Catching a girl talking on a phone off-guard (“I think a robot is talking to me….A robot is bothering me”) [1:45]
– Repetitively running into a wall [5:48]