Configurable Space: Architectural Robotics at the Scale of Furniture
Araújo de Aguiar, Carlos Henrique
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The subject of architectural robotics is an important contemporary issue that urges effort of investigation and understanding in a changing technological world. The Digital Revolution, which is the shift from analog and mechanical to digital technology with the proliferation of the computer and Internet, has brought many great possibilities of interaction among people. However, this advance in digital, ubiquitous and interactive technology has not rendered deep changes in architecture yet. The built environment still is inelastic and unresponsive to people’s input. In grappling with this issue, this paper broadly investigates the subject of architectural robotics, highlighting the current stage of development of the field, and stipulating the reasons for the recent growing interest in it. This paper also explores the stimulus and causes of architectural robotics, points out the key elements of this subject, and examines several types of built environment adaptation. The great part of this paper, however, documents the process and analyzes the result of an empirical study conducted to explore new opportunities of architectural robotic at the scale of furniture. In this study, I introduce and describe a novel, intelligent and networked suite of robotic furniture, which aims to work as an assistive technology to support aging in place. I present the design and construction of this robotic suite composed of two robotic furniture elements – a chair, which supports lifting; and a screen, which transforms the space and provides various activities within the same location. The thesis also reports on an initial experiment with a senior volunteer, evaluates the two robotic furniture items, and proposes future directions for investigation.
- Architecture