Emotive Robotics – Expressive Eyes

Today’s project is making “expressive” eyes. Eyes can serve dual functions: in addition to observing the world around you, in many animals they also serve to express interest or other emotions. In this project I am focusing on the latter, the expressive purpose of eyes. I want to see how lights, time, and form can work together to evoke anthropomorphic reactions in human observers and mimic emotions such as joy, lethargy, or surprise! Along the way, I’m sure that I will encounter various technical challenges that I’m sure I’ll enjoy working through. For now, I’m referring to the greater enterprise of robots that interact with humans to spark emotional reaction or compassion as “Emotive Robotics.”

I tried to make the above seem all high-brow, but just I’m warming up my 3D printer for a summer of robotics fun. This could be the first step towards something bigger or just a fun little exercise that ends up a one-off. Who knows! One direction I could see this going is creating little circus buddies who I could interact with to create human-robotic performances that wow both circus audiences and robotic experts as well. Could robots be clowning, tight-rope walking, juggling, trapeze? I would also like to collaborate with other circus performers and designers.

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