Home Bots on stage Cats show robot-animal interaction

Cats show robot-animal interaction

by Marco van der Hoeven

Researchers at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with artists from Blast Theory, have developed an innovative installation called Cat Royale, which explores the interactions between robots, cats, and humans within a bespoke multispecies environment.

The installation, which debuted at the 2023 World Science Festival in Brisbane, Australia, features a robot arm that engages with three cats through various activities designed to enrich their lives. These activities include manipulating toys like a ‘mouse’ and a feather ‘bird’, and offering treats.

The project, part of an artist-led initiative that has since won a Webby award for its creative experience, was recently highlighted at the annual Computer-Human Interaction Conference (CHI’24), where it received the best paper award. The research emphasizes the importance of designing not just the technology itself but also the environment in which it operates, highlighting the crucial role of human interaction for effective function and emergency interventions.

Professor Steve Benford, who led the research team, noted that while the surface goal of Cat Royale is to entertain and care for cats, it also probes deeper questions about the trustworthiness of robots in caregiving roles. This includes considering the layout and design of the living spaces to facilitate better interaction between the robots and the living creatures they are meant to serve.

The research underscores that successful integration of robots into home environments might require significant modifications to interior design to ensure both functionality and the well-being of all inhabitants. Insights from the Cat Royale project, conducted in the University’s unique Cobotmaker Space, have demonstrated that creating effective multispecies systems involves comprehensive design thinking that encompasses the needs of all participants—robots, animals, and humans alike.

Photo: Blast Theory – Stephen Daly

Misschien vind je deze berichten ook interessant