Affective Movement in Robotic Art: Alternatives to the 'Interiority Paradigm' in Social Robotics

Irene Alcubilla Troughton
2021 Body, Space & Technology Journal  
This papercritically evaluates how emotional and intentional movement is conceptualisedand deployed in social robotics and provides an alternative by analysingcontemporary robotic artworks that deal with affective human-robot interaction(HRI). Within HRI, movement as a way of communicating emotions and intent hasbecome a topic of increased interest, which has made social robotics turn totheatre and dance due to the expertise of these fields in expressive movement.This paper will argue that
more » ... l robotics' way of using performative methodswith regards to emotional movement is, nonetheless, limited and carries certainchallenges.  These challenges aregrounded on the claim that social robotics participates in what the authorcalls an 'interiority paradigm'. That is, movement is understood to be theexpression of inner, pre-determined states. The 'interiority paradigm' poses several challenges to the development of emotional movement, with regards to unaddressed human androbotic imaginaries, an emphasis in legibility and familiarity, and arestrictive interior/exterior binary that limits the role of movement in anaffective connection. As an example of how robotscould be imagined beyond this interiority paradigm, the author proposes to turnto contemporary robotic art.Robotic art's view on affective movement as a matter of evocationand of performative co-creation might inspire the development of robots thatmove beyond the requirement of being mere copies of a human interiority.  While the intersection between robotics andthe performing arts is a fruitful field of research, the author argues in thispaper that the way in which movement is currently being developed throughperformative methods has certain shortcomings, and that the perspective of roboticart on affective movement might open up a more interesting area of explorationfor social robotics, as well as expose those aspects of theatre and dance thathave being unaddressed in robotics. 
doi:10.16995/bst.7963 fatcat:rt4vuf5qvfex5n2zuxikukwl7u