For the course Social Robot Design in the Interaction Technology programme at University of Twente, I have been working on the idea to use improv theatre as interaction simulation tool for a while now. After a number interesting, but less relevant attempts during CuriousU Summerschools I had the opportunity this year to work with professional actors, director and videographer. The scenes are loosely based on standard improv formats, the actors play both robot and user, based on ‘what everybody thinks everyone knows about robots’. Input for the scenes is delivered by students (who in a way get ‘run-time’ on the ‘simulation-engine’). The resulting scenes are more often than not very funny – which is a good thing. If there is reason to laugh, then probably there is a misconception, friction, reversal or something else that is seriously relevant going on.
improv robot interaction simulation