Spyderbot Social Robot
Hardware and UX Design Lead
In 2018 I had been working in and around robotics research labs for 3+ years, helping design and build bespoke robots for researchers to test specific psychological effects in their respective domains. While at Cornell I initiated and lead a team of 5 engineers and designers to design, build, and open source a robot to provide both to the lab I was in and the many labs we collaborated with. This robot was to be a tool used by the researchers and needed to accommodate a wide variety of social contexts; such as language learning or group problem solving.
Key Methods: Interactive Hardware Design. Project Management. Prototyping.
A key problem we solved was to remove barriers non-engineers in the robotics research field faced when trying to create software+hardware to make their robots perform expressive motion in their studies. Drawing from work I had done with improv performers and dance choreographers, the methodology we created allowed people to puppeteer, record and replay movement using a dummy robot. This greatly reduced the need for complex software engineering to create expressive motion. A researcher could move the robot how they would want it to move in their study, record and replay it in the same manner every time they ran their experiment. This methodology was novel in the field and was published in a top scientific journal, where it has been cited by other researchers and applied to the development of their robots.