Domestic bot aka ButlerCat

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The Robot University project is coming along, with progress on all robot designs. This is the domestic robot. The housekeeper of the robots, which will challenge the idea of robots being subservient to humans.

This image shows the refinement process of the bottom left silhouette in my previous thumbnail exploration.

I really liked the idea of creating a robot that was animalist and cute. The domestic robots are effectively slaves, and since people expect their pets to love them unconditionally I thought designing the robot like a pet would give it some interesting depth to explore. We wouldn’t make a slave in our own image, but it’s going to be hanging out in your home when you are and aren’t there. That’s a very personal space! You need to trust it. It needs to be relatable, and maybe even vulnerable. So I thought why not make it look like a cat? Or some other cute animal.

The result looks like super advanced Japanese-derived tech. Like the evolution of a Tamagotchi, but now it’s taking care of you, instead of the other way around.

The final row includes some accessories, after Christy and Paul suggested giving it butler cues as well, like a bowtie or collar. It was tough to add bits without spoiling the slick, minimal stylings, but we’ve ended up running with option F, a very Hello Kitty reminiscent design. Our writer, Christy, was excited about adding the stereotyped gender you’d get from a pink bow, and it certainly raises some interesting questions.

Do you think people will always assign a gender to artificial intelligence?

How would it affect our interactions?

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