Designing Robotics Thinking

Masters Students at International Conference on Soft Robotics 

University of Edinburgh Design Informatics postgraduate students create an experimental response, Shape Shifters, to explore application and opportunity in areas of soft robotics, supported by School of Engineering expertise as part of the Robotics Superlab. We seek to demonstrate emergent opportunities for design thinking, engineering, and data to imagine new futures for design. A 5-week design sprint has created a valuable prototype of collaborative practice for further development.
Students have created a breathing memory capture wall, an imaginative garment which maps the mood of the audience, and a metaverse-to-physical-reality experience, drawing shape-shifting digital anthropology cultures into focus and asking what design can deliver for engineering approaches to future concepts.
This exhibition is hosted as part of the Soft Robotics Conference (5-7 April 2022). The 5th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics deals with the theme of “Soft Robots for the Planet”, presenting the most recent progress in the various fields of soft robotics and discussing new science, new technologies and new opportunities for the design, development and application of “green” soft robots for Earth’s safeguard, human healthcare and the improvement of the quality of life.

The recent environmental and medical emergencies have highlighted the key role of science and technology in helping humanity and the planet. Soft Robotics, with its highly multi-disciplinary scientific and technological character, has the potential of being a game changer for these current global challenges and for the future ones.