Shybo – Design of a Research Artefact for Human-robot Interaction Studies

Keywords: Human-Robot Interaction, Research Through Design, Prototyping, Robotic Toy, Design for Children


This article discusses the role of Design Research in the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Notably, the Research through Design (RtD) approach is proposed as a valuable method to develop HRI research artefacts due to the importance of having a physical artefact, a robot, that enables direct interaction. Moreover, there is a growing interest in HRI for design methodologies as methods for investigation. The article presents an example of a design process, focused on hands-on activities, namely sketching, 3D modelling, prototyping, and documenting. These making practices were applied to the development of Shybo, a small sound-reactive robot for children. Particular attention has been given to the five prototypes that led to the definition of the current solution. Morphological, behavioral, and interaction aspects were investigated throughout the whole process. Each phase of the design process was then documented with the intent of sharing potentially replicable practices and contributing to the understanding of the role that RtD can play in HRI. 

Author Biography

Maria Luce Lupetti, Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy.
Maria Luce Lupetti is a PhD candidate in Design for Service Robotics, at Politecnico di Torino, Italy. Her research, focused on human-robot interaction and play, is supported by TIM. During her PhD she was Publicity Chair for HRI Pioneers Workshop 2017 and visiting scholar at X-Studio, Academy of Art and Design, of Tsinghua University, China.


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