Project Name: Robot Couture
Scope: Wearable Computing, 2011
With the increase of domestic robots, the need to personalize and maintain them becomes a design challenge. Asked to generate ideas of protective clothing for an open-platform PR2 research robot, we quickly tried a proof-of-concept vinyl hooded jacket. This anthropomorphized need to replicate human wear or biological necessities was replaced with a different tactic. Identifying a technique of electrostatics, in which particles floating in the air are drawn and caught in what is effectively a filter, we found a way to keep the robot's joints clean of particulates without covering and impairing it in traditional human garments. For the location and configuration of such a device, we paired a mathematical Enneper surface with the ruff collar as seen in the portraiture of 17th century Holland. Given pleating and rationalization process, this collar can be laid flat for machine cutting and patterning.