AUR was designed around an existing 5-DoF robotic arm, using a two-way evolutionary prototyping approach. The process went back-and-forth between mechanical, material, form, and interaction design, until the final version was built. See design gallery.

The lamp is aimed to evoke a personal relationship with the human partner without resorting to creature-like features such as eyes, limbs, or a mouth. By retaining the lamp's "objectness", we hope to explore the relationship that can be maintained between a human and an object through abstract gestures and nonverbal behavior alone.

On a more general note, we believe that robot design for HRI is bound to express itself as a separate field charting an interdisciplinary course on the brink of mechanical, electronic, product, human-factors, interaction, and animation design. Currently robot design is a predominantly grassroots activity, performed by a loosely selected collection of graduate students, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineers.

In August 2007,
AUR won the Gold Prize in the IEEE RO-MAN 2007 Robot Design Competition.

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