RCA–IIS Tokyo Design Lab Innovation Academy Workshop: Re: Thinking the Robot

March 9th & 10th 2018 Design Lab, Institute of Industrial Science, Komaba

We are on the cusp of the robotics revolution: new technologies promise a societal shift where robots will become part of our daily lives. How will we cope with the introduction of this new technology? On the 9th and 10th March 2018 the RCA - IIS Tokyo Design Lab invited 25 people to take on that challenge and to 'rethink' the robot. We ran a creative idea generation workshop where participants from industry and academia were informed and inspired by cutting-edge research from the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS). The workshop was split across two days - the first day was about using drawing as a primary idea generation method. We wanted to give the participants permission to be highly creative and think not' outside the box' but like that they didn't even know there was supposed to be a box. Day two was about thinking through making a tradition that is often overlooked in the digital world. The teams then built, tested and iterated their ideas using a wide variety of crazy building materials we supplied - balloons, paper clay, plastic cups, tissue paper and wire were all employed to bring life to the new robot generation.

The results were creative and varied, there were for example ideas for a drone delivery café where autonomous flying cups would deliver drinks to your table; another was tiny robots that could intelligently form into everyday objects to help you out (forgotten your keys? No problem the small bots would form into the exact shape of your keys). The RCA-IIS Tokyo Design Lab will run this workshop again in the coming months and we are looking forward to seeing a wide spectrum of new robot future ideas and new perspectives on life with this emerging technology.

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