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Analysis report brief

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Emerging Practices 2016 #ctec702 in CoLab. Includes a sample case (not of a robot) and grading criteria.

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Analysis report brief

  1. 1. Analysis Report Brief #ctec702 Emerging Practices 2016
  2. 2. BRIEF: Analysis of Emerging Social Robots 1. Summarise your initial approach to the topic of Social Robotics. • Did you have any previous awareness, knowledge, or experience with robots in general, and with social or service robots? • What cases and ideas did you find interesting, even surprising, in your initial scoping of the theme? 2. Frame and justify your case selection. • How did you choose? What made you decide (or change your decision)? 3. List the top 3 authoritative sources that informed your scoping of the theme, the selection of your case, and/or the analysis of your case. 4. What is the problem? • Copy and paste 3 messages (statements/segments) that you think the companies or the media use to define the problem or value proposition of your case robot. Write a brief personal interpretation of your own for each of those messages. • Copy and paste 3 images or video screenshots that you think the companies or the media use to define the problem or value proposition of your case robot. Write a brief personal interpretation using your own words for each of those images. 5. Precedents • How have those problems been tackled/solved before your case robot? (Non-technical solutions) • How does your case robot relate to other technologies or consumer products? 6. Users and values • Who are the intended users of your case robot? How are the companies or the media defining the target users? • What assumptions about the users, beliefs, values, and behaviours are being promoted with your case robot?
  3. 3. Example: 3Doodler But please, be original in how you do your report. This is only one example (draft version*), there are many other ways of doing it. * = note the notes in [brackets] as placeholders for ideas to develop for a final version of this report
  4. 4. 1. Initial approach to the topic of <3D Printing> • I started using additive manufacturing in 2004, after a decade using CAD and 3D modelling software as a product designer. I taught rapid prototyping between 2005 and 2011, which made me aware of two important factors related to 3D printing: first, that the early patents for stereolithography go back to the 1980s, and second, that a lot of what designers, artists, engineers, and amateurs create with these technologies is trivial, arbitrary, or worthless. These two issues have made me very cynical about the so-called “3D Revolution” as portrayed by the media in recent years. [I would add a paragraph here with some credible references to support this idea, including the in Google Trend (www.google.com/trends) of the 3D printing fad, or some of the early articles in Fast Company and the New York Times from around 2006. I could also mention briefly the role that the big corporations have played in killing innovation in this industry by acquiring small firms, or other dilemmas for example those raised in the book shown below (van den Berg et al., 2016)…] • Having said all of that, I do see a parallel between 3D printing and Social Robotics (hence this example): they are very likely to disrupt ‘everything’ in the future, so I think that we should make an effort to analyse and extract the real potential value of these technologies (buried between piles of marketing hay). www.wired.com/tag/bre-pettis http://www.medicaldaily.com
  5. 5. 2. Frame and justify your case selection. • I found many reasons to analyse the 3Doodler, first as an example of a ‘successful’ crowdfunding campaign; second, naturally because of all the media coverage –most of which fails to do a critical review of the technology and the product; and third, well, I still think that this is a really good example of a futile, purposeless, and nonsensical tech-driven product. It puzzles me how the company, the backers, and most of the media praise this product, when to me it’s a clear case of chindogu, which are defined as “unuseless inventions”, which are humourous as they are simultaneously useless while pointing to a real problem (Kawakami, K. (1995). 101 unuseless Japanese inventions: the art of Chindogu. WW Norton & Company). • Chindogus, turns out, have been used in design and creativity education for a while as an ideation strategy, see for example: Patton, A., & Bannerot, R. (2002). Chindogu: a problem solving strategy for transforming uselessness into fearlessness. Paper IA, 2, 20-22. Similarly, I’d argue that 3Doodler may help us reveal what are the real issues with the role that additive manufacturing may play in the future. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/06 /3doodler-20-printing-pen-drawing-in-air-wobbleworks
  6. 6. 3. List the top 3 authoritative sources that informed your scoping of the theme, the selection of your case, and/or the analysis of your case. • Agrawal, H., Umapathi, U., Kovacs, R., Frohnhofen, J., Chen, H. T., Mueller, S., & Baudisch, P. (2015). Protopiper: Physically Sketching Room-Sized Objects at Actual Scale. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (pp. 427-436). ACM. • Sketch Furniture by FRONT (2007) Audio interview: http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/audios/37/856 Video: https://youtu.be/8zP1em1dg5k • Peng, H., Zoran, A., & Guimbretière, F. V. (2015, April). D-Coil: A Hands-on Approach to Digital 3D Models Design. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1807-1815). ACM. And an older precedent: Do, E. Y. L. (2000). Sketch that scene for me: Creating virtual worlds by freehand drawing. Proceedings of eCAADe 2000, 265-268. • Extra: Mitra, T., & Gilbert, E. (2014). The language that gets people to give: Phrases that predict success on kickstarter. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 49-61). ACM. https://patents.google.com/?assignee=Wobbleworks+Inc
  7. 7. 4. What is the problem? • Copy and paste 3 messages (statements/segments) that you think the companies or the media use to define the problem or value proposition of your <case product>. Write a brief personal interpretation of your own for each of those messages. • From 3doodler.com: “Amazing Array of Uses: Whether hobbyist or professional, the 3Doodler Create is our most versatile 3D printing pen yet. From fine art, to DIY, maker projects, creating scale models or decorative items, the possibilities are limitless!” • From 3doodler.com: “the 3Doodler extrudes heated plastic that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. The only question remaining is #WhatWillYouCreate?” • From http://edu.the3doodler.com/curriculum-type/principles-of-art-design/: “Students who may feel intimidated by the unstructured, open nature of the project may have an easier time Doodling pieces flat on paper and then either joining the pieces together, or continuing to 3Doodle on the paper to create a largely two-dimensional work.” My readings: the first statement talks about “an amazing array” of applications, and refers to a range of users, from hobbyists to professionals. I think that this lack of focus and definition is one of the signs of weakness in how this product was conceived, and is presented. It aims to be ‘everything’, and ends up not being nothing. When something is sold as “limitless”, it is usually quite useless. The second statement extends this idea by placing the burden on the users: “your lack of imagination is the problem, not our product”, which incidentally all it does is melt strands of coloured plastic. Based on experience dealing with melted polymers, their “into a solid, stable structure” sounds very suspicious to me, and is something to pay close attention in the videos that they present. The third statement is quite revealing and suggests that (some/a lot of) students struggle, and end up using the “amazing 3D pen” just as another 2D drawing instrument (of course, one that is very expensive!). These activities are aimed at children above 14 years of age, and many of them reinforce my initial view that the 3Doodler is a solution looking for problems. All of the learning activities suggested in their tutorials can be perfectly done with more traditional means and materials, such as paper, wire, or clay. I don’t really see a lot of justified problems to tackle with the 3Doodler at this point.
  8. 8. 4. What is the problem? (part 2) • Copy and paste 3 images or video screenshots that you think the companies or the media use to define the problem or value proposition of your case robot. Write a brief personal interpretation using your own words for each of those images. • These three images are taken from the 3Doodler Create video in their YouTube channel. The first image is the frame where “drawing in the air” is covered (you can see the next frame swipping from the right), thus reinforcing my suspicion that the “heated plastic that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure” is a flat lie. The second shot is the first frame of the “Fix” segment, where apparently the person glues the broken piece and immediately puts it in the remote control. Two problems here: first, this would be achieved by using a specialised adhesive, and second, there isn’t enough time for the plastic to solidify before the lid is placed, thus making the scene look even more fake. The third image shows a double-decker bus that someone has decided to build using a plastic extrusor. Because of the size and geometry of the (toy?), my first reaction is of disbelief: how many hours and how much material (filaments) would be required to build such a structure? By the way, the bus is mostly made of flat surfaces, so a sheet material would be more appropriate. Then, what is the likely structural resistance of this bus? What is it intended to do? As a toy, too costly and fragile; as a display object, not very aesthetically accomplished, as a design model, again too time-consuming and inadequate way to represent what can be shown in drawings, computer models, or more agile scale prototypes. What is inside this model bus? A box? I decided to use three images from the same introductory video because at first, the video elicits curiosity and even awe from first-time viewers. Let’s not forget that this was a very ‘successful’ crowdfunding campaign. Yet, the video is full of tricks and raises suspicion almost on every frame. I’m left wondering: What is the (real) purpose of the 3Doodler? Who needs one? What for? All screenshots taken from 3Doodler’s video: https://youtu.be/zqgTGCtbNLU
  9. 9. 5. Precedents • How have those problems been tackled/solved before your case robot? (Non-technical solutions) • Not easy to answer, as the company suggests that this product is “limitless”, so I choose to focus on the education resources that they offer: http://edu.the3doodler.com/curriculum/ [Here I would add a long list of more traditional classroom activities from reputable learning organisations to demonstrate how most (if not all) of these learning activities are feasible just using paper, clay, wire, and other accessible materials… even perhaps some tutorials from the companies that sell various types of adhesives. I would talk to a couple of teachers and young people to see what I can learn from them in terms of the current issues with making activities to support learning. This reference could inform my approach: Eisenberg, M. (2013). 3D printing for children: What to build next?. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 1(1), 7-13.] www.exploratorium.edu www.education.com
  10. 10. 5. Precedents (part 2) • How does your case <product> relate to other technologies or consumer products? • [Most obvious response would be how it compares to accessible FDM printers… but, perhaps more interesting: turns out that in recent months, a number of similar products have been launched, such as Atmosflare (atmosflare3d.com) and IDo3D (www.ido3dart.com). Also some obvious rip-offs, such as the “YaYa 3D printing pen. Another way to look at this is to incorporate in this analysis other crafting devices, such as the “Candy Craft Chocolate Pen” (www.skyrockettoys.com/products/candy-craft/candy-craft-chocolate-pen) and the Bunchems. Depending on my own interests, I could also learn one or two things from studies like these two which look at how students apply making activities in education: • Charlesworth, C. (2007). Student use of virtual and physical modelling in design development–an experiment in 3D design education. The Design Journal, 10(1), 35-45. • Welch, M. (1998). Students' use of three-dimensional modelling while designing and making a solution to a technological problem. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 8(3), 241-260.] www.ido3dart.com
  11. 11. 6. Users and values • Who are the intended users of your case <product>? How are the companies or the media defining the target users? • The original 3Doodler was aimed at “everybody” and the website talks about “hobbyists to professionals”. The hands in their videos are all adult hands, but it’s noticeable how the logo and the range of things built looked quite childish. Interestingly, the company has recently launched the 3Doodler Start, a pen specifically aimed at children: http://3doodlerstart.com/, which is reinforced by the copy- cats advertised as toys. Their video tutorial (below) shows a (partial) demo of how a child uses the pen to build a 3D model by drawing in 2D, then gluing the flat parts to assemble the model. Compare the cost, time, and outcome with more conventional alternatives, such as plywood construction sets or card fold and glue templates. • It’s been a couple of years since the 3Doodler crowdfunding campaign, and it seems at this stage that its likely future is as a toy, which still seems quite difficult to use, too costly, and also time-consuming. Ironically, the freedom of “limitless” possibilities seems now quite reduced to very structured activities (step-by-step with a template), rather than their “design, invent, create” initial rhetoric. From this angle, the 3Doodler Start seems to offer all the disadvantages of previous solutions (constrained cut-outs) with the additional burden of a steep learning curve, costly consumables, and time-consuming processes. www.youtube.com/watch?v=v216eiPnEbk
  12. 12. 6. Users and values (part 2) • What assumptions about the users, beliefs, values, and behaviours are being promoted with your case <product>? • The humorous review by “grav3yardgirl” in YouTube (below) is quite revealing, as she works for several hours to produce a fragile and rather ugly toy following instructions given to her, after a failed initial attempt. The 3Doodler assumes that people (children?) will have the patience to sit down for hours to gain mastery and build such kind of figurines. Studies with Lego have already shown the key differences between open-play and structured building activities following instructions, so it’s rather unfortunate that making devices would follow the same path of incentivising rule-following, rather than supporting creative exploration: • Giddings, S. (2014) Bright bricks, dark play: On the impossibility of studying LEGO. In: Wolf, M. J., ed. (2014) LEGO Studies: Examining the Building Blocks of a Transmedial Phenomenon. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415722872 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/23392 • Moran, J. D., Sawyers, J. K., & Moore, A. J. (1988). Effects of structure in instruction and materials on preschoolers' creativity. Home economics research journal, 17(2), 148-152. www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2g-aI8X-wE
  13. 13. GRADING CRITERIA: Analysis of Emerging Social Robots 1. Summarise your initial approach to the topic of Social Robotics. • Brevity and sincerity are important to respond to this question, we want to understand where you are ‘coming from’. Also, this is a good place to share your initial scoping process in Emerging Practices this semester, what you learned and what caught your interest. Try to connect this process to your previous knowledge and experience, share a departing point that is significant for you. 2. Frame and justify your case selection. • This question asks for justification of your selection, so accuracy and relevance is important here. You may compare your case robot with other similar robots, or differentiate it from dissimilar robots, perhaps refer to the potential you see on your case robot would be helpful. 3. List the top 3 authoritative sources that informed your scoping of the theme, the selection of your case, and/or the analysis of your case. • Straightforward: show us that you know what you are talking about, so avoid articles from Wikipedia, Wired, TechCrunch, BoredPanda, etc. You can start there, but then move to the sources. For example, I first read about the “Protopiper” idea in Gizmodo, but then looked for the authors and located their work at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut. 4. What is the problem? • Look at the examples, the idea is to select actual statements/passages/images from companies or the media about your case robot, and to add some informed and critical commentaries of them, breaking them apart, interpreting, evaluating them, and trying to extract meaning from them. 5. Precedents • This doesn’t have to be exhaustive, and it is a good idea to start shaping your analysis here based on the issues that catch your interest in this case robot. It does help to look around for possible competing solutions, both technical (other robots, tech devices), and non-technical too. Links to sources are fundamental. 6. Users and values • Again, this can be difficult, and it doesn’t have to be exhaustive. As you move in the analysis, it will be shaped by your own interests. Most companies don’t explicitly talk about their target users (many haven’t even spent the time trying to define them), so it takes a bit of effort to ‘read between the lines’ in order to figure out who may your case robot be addressed at. The effort is worthwhile, and you will see how companies take so many things for granted in their advertising rhetoric. https://youtu.be/7VdjaOpY30k

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