Concept Production Research
Writing Experience Service
Sound Interface Product

Completed in 10 weeks in 2015 as an individual project at Umeå Institute of Design Interaction Design Master Programme.

What are we left to do when technology just happens to do everything for us? Future visions depict life in smart-homes where technology deals with all our chores and reads our deepest wishes before we are even aware of them. But is living in such an environment actually desirable? How might people appropriate their smart-home technology to regain control?

Bots is system for home robot assistants that collaborate to make life alone a little more interesting. The system consists of specialist agents (bots), a main control unit (the brain) and room speakers (the senses). Bots are modular artificial intelligences that focus on a single task (e.g. online shopping, spying on the neighbours whereabouts or organising surprise presents).

The group dynamics that arises from the bots placed in the main unit might change our relationship with the technology to something more alike having a group of pets: never entirely predictable but always succeeding or failing with the best of intents.

The project resulted in three short films (design fictions) of how a senior person might personalise their home robot assistants. The short films and the concept designs were exhibited at Humlab-X, an interdisciplinary digital lab at Umeå University. At the public exhibition, viewers were asked to imagine new bots that they want for themselves.