Making Furniture Interactive

September 6, 2007

Huggable Robots, Mobile Furniture

Filed under: Examples — garthz @ 12:59 pm

MIT Huggable Robot

I have come across several examples of “huggable robot” projects. I find these relevant because they attempt to address needs for companionship, care and communication through seemingly non-technical, intuitive, unconscious means.

One of these is from the MIT Media Lab: video.

There is also a huggable robot from Jody Forlizzi’s group within HCI here at CMU: CMU “Hug” page, CMU “Hug” video.

I also found some interesting examples of self-mobile furniture. In one sense, they solve a practical need, but in an impractical way that asserts a high degree of autonomy. For example, the chair can fall apart and then reassemble itself from the separate pieces: self-reassembling chair and mobile table.

Somewhere closer to the practical scale is this walking table, which I like because it remains within the realm of the purely mechanical: walking table video.

And last, there is the Chico MacMurtrie sculpture URGE. It incorporates a bench and a kinetic sculpture activated by a person sitting on the bench. Again, it stays within the realm of the mechanical. The interaction is simple but there is a clear connection between the person and a ritual moment. URGE documentation, URGE diagram.

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