Soft Robotic Incarnation: Interrogations of mediated intercorporeality

    Research output: ThesisMaster's thesis


    This thesis is a postphenomenological interrogation into the use of soft
    robots as mediating bodies between humans, attempting to unfetishize
    their imaginative figure of the stranger through an event I call incarnation. Based on my own encounters with Palestinians for conflict resolution
    and through readings of phenomenological and sociological studies, I determine the importance of the physical body, its fleshiness, non-linearity
    and organic qualities for the constitution of intercorporeality - a meaningful and transformative dialog. I investigate the potential of non-human
    robotic avatars to achieve intercorpreality and liberate the interlocutors
    from prejudice and identity constraints, proposing the use of soft robots
    as a medium of re-embodiment that could facilitate massive scale physical
    incarnations and create physical encounters between people who are un-
    able to otherwise meet in person. As a proof-of-concept, a novel method
    for the production of soft robotic avatars is introduced, capable of bodily haptics, language translation, and animalistic emotional expression.
    The avatar is operated using a web-based software platform that enables
    easy development of third party applications. Using this method, HITODAMA, a first prototype for a soft robotic avatar, is produced. I perform
    an initial evaluation of the robot in an encounter between people of different cultures, using an example app in which they get to know one another
    using pictures. I analyze the results by conducting interviews with the
    participants, following the principles of interpretative phenomenological
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeG2 Master's thesis, polytechnic Master's thesis


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