Living With Robots: A Speculative Design Approach

James Henry Auger


This article begins by asking: “Why are robots not becoming domestic products?” In addressing this question the author borrows from the science of ecology and biological concepts of evolution and domestication to make an analogy between the shift of habitats that occurs when an organism successfully goes through the process of artificial selection (from natural to domestic). In addition, this paper explores the transition an emerging technology makes when coming out of the laboratory and becoming a suitable product for domestic use, concluding that the majority of proposed domestic robots are essentially maladapted to everyday life. The article then shifts the focus onto design research, primarily speculative design, to ask, “how could robots become domestic products?” The author uses a variety of design projects to describe how alternative approaches to robots can provide new perspectives on technological research and development.


human-robot interaction, recognition, sensors, emotion

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