How should we address humanoid robots – as machines, tools, contraptions, or instruments? What kind of social role should they take over – what kind of relation would be appropriate and useful?
While some technologies discreetly infiltrate our living environment, we perceive social robots as material entities. Since they simulate human skills and human appearance, we see humanoids equipped with AI as the most challenging type of robots. They are about to operate in our intimate spaces.
Humanoid Robots are promising and challenging. They mimic us by distorting what we are and do. Humans build humanoids that way.
We call our humanoid robot “Machina”, that is Latin for machine as well as trickery. We conceive humanoid robots as companions – for now. But companions that of course bare no similarity with, humans, pets, or plants. Its next media. Just like personal computers have evolved from sophisticated calculators to multimedia aggregates, humanoid robots will also turn into media as they get positioned amidst human interactions. Hence, we work to articulate the propositions for humanoid robots as media-agents amid sociocultural and spatial human relations.
The human lifeworld is spatial. This is the focus of our endeavors. We conceive space mainly as a holistic substrate of meanings, positioning and their relations. We see a host of potential for a new kind of entity in human spaces, part humanoid robot, part AI – and develop our research accordingly.