POLI is a social robot platform currently under development at the University of Texas, Austin in the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab run by Dr. Andrea Thomaz. It features camera recognition, a mobile base and a Kinova arm for object manipulation. It has the ability to learn new tasks through spoken and guided instruction. Its body combines plastic shells with a soft neoprene body covering.
This is an ongoing project that is currently in testing at hospitals throughout the country as an assistant to nurses. In my role as creative lead for the robot shell design, I explored form semantics in order to communicate the robot’s capabilities and set expectations for human-robot interaction.