Alcubilla Troughton, I., (2022) “Affective Movement in Robotic Art: Alternatives to the ‘Interiority Paradigm’ in Social Robotics”, Body, Space & Technology 21(1).
Alcubilla Troughton, I., (2022) “Affective Movement in Robotic Art: Alternatives to the ‘Interiority Paradigm’ in Social Robotics”, Body, Space & Technology 21(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/bst.7963
This paper criticallyevaluates how emotional and intentional movement is conceptualised and deployedin social robotics and provides an alternative by analysing contemporary roboticartworks that deal with affective human-robot interaction (HRI). Within HRI,movement as a way of communicating emotions and intent has become a topic ofincreased interest, which has made social robotics turn to theatre and dancedue to the expertise of these fields in expressive movement. This paper willargue that social robotics’ way of using performative methods with regards toemotional movement is, nonetheless, limited and carries certainchallenges. These challenges are grounded on the claim that socialrobotics participates in what the author calls an ‘interiority paradigm’. Thatis, movement is understood to be the expression of inner, pre-determinedstates. The ‘interiority paradigm’ poses several challenges to the developmentof emotional movement, with regards to unaddressed human and roboticimaginaries, an emphasis in legibility and familiarity, and a restrictiveinterior/exterior binary that limits the role of movement in an affectiveconnection. As an example of how robots could be imagined beyond this interiorityparadigm, the author proposes to turn to contemporary robotic art. Robotic art’s view on affective movement as a matter ofevocation and of performative co-creation might inspire the development ofrobots that move beyond the requirement of being mere copies of a humaninteriority. While the intersection between robotics and the performingarts is a fruitful field of research, the author argues in this paper that theway in which movement is currently being developed through performative methodshas certain shortcomings, and that the perspective of robotic art on affectivemovement might open up a more interesting area of exploration for socialrobotics, as well as expose those aspects of theatre and dance that have beingunaddressed in robotics.
Human-Robot Interaction, Affective Movement, Robotic Art, Performing Arts, Theatre, Dance