Robots can be used as artistic media, able to perform and interact with people in artistic representations.
Interacting with a different entity: First contact
In order to explore the interaction possibilities, we are developing experiences where a person can interact with another entity, having different form and abilities, and should find strategies to communicate, possibly to perform shared tasks. The experiences are done both with robots and in virtual reality. More details on this post.
We have developed an autonomous robotic actor, able to participate to a public representation with a defined role and script, and we are developing an Improv robotic actor able to adapt its performance to external stimuli. We have firstly developed a robot able to move in classical scenes (e.g. the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet) selecting the proper emotional expressions for the situation, and a framework to define emotional expressions according to the social setting among characters, and the situation. We then developed Robocchio, a robot able to implement a script and adapt to the timing of the partner on stage, tested on an adapted excerpt of Pinocchio by Collodi. We then improved Robocchio to improvise by visually recognizing 17 “scenic actions” and reacting to them with scenic actions influenced by one of 16 different psychological types. The final step to include improvised verbal interaction is under development.
Interactive robotic art
Robots can have different shapes and play different roles in interactive artistic performances. We are exploiting materials like nets, polyethilene sheets, polyurethane foams and other materials to obtain shapes interesting to move in interactive exhibits. Emotional expression is also in this area, an interesting feature to explore.