Today I talked to Carla Diana about her new book My Robot Gets Me: How Social Design Can Make New Products More Human (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021).
Carla Diana is a robot designer responsible for the creative aspects of Diligent Robotics’ new hospital service robot named Moxi. She created and leads the 4D Design masters program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, wrote the world’s first children’s book on 3D printing, LEO the Maker Prince, and she cohosts the Robopsych Podcast.
The author is intrigued by where technology is headed—the “electronic guts” of high-tech offerings--at the same time that she never loses focus on what kind of gut reaction a user will have in interacting with a product. This episode therefore ranges from discussing modalities central to Diana’s work (sound, movement, and lighting) to addressing how important it is for designers and engineers alike to engage in “bodystorming” exercises that align everyone around what the user’s experience will be like. Delight and ease of use are both key criteria in achieving success. If there’s a Frankenstein aspect to helping bring robots “alive,” fortunately Diana is somebody concerned with all the ethical challenges that arise.