Panel: Signs of Life: Human-Robot Intersubjectivities
The paper will present and discuss Mari Velonaki’s new project, the humanoid robot ‘Diamandini’, in the context of Perception, Identification and Emotional activation during human-robot interaction. Diamandini is a five-year collaborative research project conducted by Mari and robotics scientists at the Centre for Social Robotics, Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney. The project aims to investigate intimate human-robot interactions in order to develop an understanding of the physicality that is possible and acceptable between a human and a robot. Another aspect of the project is to discover through experimentation how human interaction with an embodied robotic character is affected by assigning ‘personalities’ and ‘emotional states’ to the robot. The Greek word for interactive is aµdµs, or amphi-dromos (amphi: around on both sides of, dromos: street or road). Thus it is defined as a middle point where two roads meet. In English, the preposition ‘inter’ means ‘between’ or ‘among’. Inter-action, therefore, signifies between or among actions. A meeting point beyond action and reaction and prior to discourse, a brief moment of recognition between two parties. The paper uses Diamandini as a case study to deconstruct sequential stages of interaction: initial meeting, then perception and recognition, followed by emotional activation. This emotional activation can lead either to interaction with the robot, or cause a reaction where the spectator chooses to abstain from engaging with the robot by, for example, leaving the exhibition space.
- Mari Velonaki is a media artist and researcher who has worked in the field of interactive installation art since 1995. Her practice engages the spectator/participant with digital and robotic “characters” in interplays stimulated by sensory triggered interfaces. Her innovative human-machine interfaces promote intimate and immersive relationships between participants and interactive artworks. She was awarded a PhD in Media Arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (AU) in 2003. Since 2003, Mari has been working as a senior researcher at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. In 2006 she co-founded with David Rye the Centre for Social Robotics within the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney. In 2007 Mari was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship in recognition of her body of work. In 2009 she was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (2009-2013) for the creation of a new robot. This research that investigates human-robot interactions in order to develop an understanding of the physicality that is possible between a human and a robot. Mari’s media art installations have been exhibited in museums and festivals worldwide.
Full text (PDF) p. 2472-2474