On Simultaneous Art and Experiment – Presentation by Amy LaViers and Catie Cuan, RAD Lab, UIUC
Why would a robotics lab need an artist-in-residence? The idea that function and expression can be divided is present in the first usage of the term “robot” in Capek’s science fiction play, RUR, where the characters discuss the differences between humans and robots in this light; indeed, this origin confuses the science around this aspect of robotics. Thus, a formalism for the concept of expression – and its fundamental relationship with function – is needed to inform robotic system design and public perception thereof. Through embodied audience participation and visual aids, we will present an ongoing project in the Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab that is developing such expressive robotic systems and measuring their effect on humans through art and performance.