Ben Scott-Robinson is designing the next generation of robot relations. Small Robot Company, the start-up he co-founded, must solve both the technical challenge of deploying rugged, autonomous robots on farms and the nuanced complexities of serving multiple users – from individual farmers to the animals the machines may encounter in the field. Ben talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about how his deep experience in user-centred design, across both agencies and in-house teams, prepared him for the role and the origins and inspiration of Small Robot Company. The conversation expands to explore the user research and human robot interaction programmes Ben is working on. Get in touch with feedback and questions @mexfeed on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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On this edition
- Marek Pawlowski, podcast host & founder, MEX (@marekpawlowski)
- Ben Scott-Robinson, co-founder, Small Robot Company (@bcsr)
- Small Robot Company, which Ben co-founded, and their crowdfunding campaign.
- Salvatore M. Anzalone, S Boucenna, Serena Ivaldi, Mohamed Chetouani. Evaluating the Engagement with Social Robots. International Journal of Social Robotics, Springer, 2015, pp.1-14. 10.1007/s12369-015-0298-7 . hal-01158293 . A paper mentioned by Ben as an example of work on social robotics.
- Edinburgh Robotics Centre, incorporating Heriot Watt University and the University of Edinburgh departments, mentioned by Ben as an example of a centre of excellence for robotics.
- Bristol Robotics Lab, another centre of excellence mentioned by Ben.
- Alexandre Colle, Phd student at Edinburgh Centre of Robotics, mentioned by Ben as one of the Phd candidates Small Robot Company is working with.
- The December 2018 drone incident at London Gatwick Airport, mentioned by Ben as an example of events affecting perception of robotics.
- Blog post on the Human Robot Interaction initiative, where Small Robot Company is collaborating with partners such as John Lewis, Method and Zoa Robotics to define a blueprint for robot relations.
- Press release about Starship Technologies’ trial of delivery robots in Greenwich, London.
- Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, a European Commission publication, mentioned by Ben as an example of leading work on how humans relate to AI.
- Bossa Nova Robotics, which is working with Walmart, mentioned by Ben as an example of robotics in retail.
- Tay, the ‘bot’ created by Microsoft in 2016, which was later suspended after it developed unpleasant habits.
- Matt Jones, currently principle designer for Google AI, mentioned by Ben as an inspirational figure.
- Register article on the launch of 3G in the UK by Hutchison in 2003.
- No Interface by Golden Krishna, mentioned by Ben as an influential book.
- ‘Beyond the rectangle: charting progress towards next generation UIs‘, an article by Marek, discussed as an example of some shared thoughts on how digital experiences will evolve.
- Smart Access Pro, a BMW service providing unlocking of its vehicles via an app, mentioned by Ben as a case study from the ‘No Interface’ book, where it is revealed to take as many as 12 clicks to achieve what can be done with a key in a single press.
- Farming Today, the BBC Radio 4 podcast and programme mentioned by Ben.
- Oxford Farming Conference, mentioned by Ben.
- Ben’s MEX/15 talk discussing his work on the future of mapping at Ordnance Survey.
- Sam Watson Jones, Ben’s co-founder at Small Robot Company.
- Interact, a conference organised by Nomensa, mentioned by Ben.
- Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, which has provided funding to Small Robot Company.
- The story of Amel, the French boat yard mentioned by Ben, as an example of his perfect ocean cruising yacht builder.
- Ben’s MEX/10 talk in December 2011 on creative digital user experiences.
- Ben’s award winning entry into the MEX Mobile User Experience Awards in 2008.
- The findings of a MEX/15 working group entitled ‘User experience principles for robots & IoT‘, facilitated by Louisa Heinrich.
- Episode 5 of the MEX podcast, a discussion with Louisa Heinrich about robot relations.
About MEX Design Talk & how to get in touch
The podcast for the MEX community, interviewing UX pioneers, exploring emerging technologies, user behaviour and how to design better digital experiences.
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