Project Status: Complete
As part of my Design Research Methods course, taught by Chris Le Dantec, we were given the assignment of creating a design fiction by researching emerging technology reports at Georgia Tech and imagining a near-future scenario where these technologies exist. I chose to imagine a scenario where medicine delivery robots served as primary care to the elderly.
My final deliverable took the form of a news article detailing the ways in which these medicine delivery robots got arrogant off of the attention of the residents.
Conceived at Georgia Tech Robotics Lab, the autonomous medicine delivery robot consisted of a Kinect, a Roomba, a small cart, and a tray. The robot would determine the patient’s location based off of the IP address of the patient’s smartphone, which had a connecting app. The app would prompt the user to provide status updates and to verify the location of the patient.
At first, I wanted to go the whole sci-fi route and I drew inspiration from the Star Wars medical droids and Baymax from Big Hero 6.
However, after getting feedback from my professor and classmates, I went for a more near-future idea. As it turned out, the near-future medicine delivery robot, is actually in the stages of production.
I finally caved and decided to modify the existing medicine delivery robots for my own purposes. But at first, I wanted to design my own.
Overall, I wanted to keep the look consistent with the group’s original prototype so I started out by sketching a few different ideas. My first concept was cone shaped with the Kinect as the head. I wanted to hide the tray, hence the cone. But then as I thought through my fiction, I realized that the Kinect head would not be expressive enough.
So, I went back to the drawing board. I created a version with a screen that included a Kinect hat and the Roomba at the bottom.
This process has taught me a lot about illustration. I used a Wacom board for the first time to draw the robot and I learned out to do 3D in Illustrator. Yay for learning!
Ultimately, however, I realized that this robot is not realistic enough and then the design fiction would not be compelling.
Luckily, Panasonic has developed a medicine delivery robot called Hospi. I then took images of Hospi to modify into this product, MedBot.
Essentially, I address the question of human-computer interaction by dramatizing the idea that these MedBots are asked to replace real human companionship for the elderly.
MedBot: making lives better by optimizing interaction.
“A Robotic System for Autonomous Medication and Water Delivery.” Georgia Tech College of Computing, School of Interactive Computing, Robotics Lab. https://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/45009
Panasonic Hospi Robot. http://news.panasonic.com/global/topics/2015/44009.html