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Design applied to Human-Robot Interaction


Design applied to Human-Robot Interaction

The Milano Design School launches a new Master's programme
14 June 2023

How do you design a robot? Can design foster interaction between humans and robots? How do you combine functionality and aesthetics? 

Istituto Marangoni Milano • The School of Design is about to launch a new Master’s programme to answer these questions. 

The Master’s in Product Design for Human-Robot Interaction aims to train Product Designers, Professional Robot Designers and user-experience experts for technological products by exploring robotics and how to design a robot’s appearance in line with its functional and structural requirements to increase users’ ability to interact with and ultimately trust AI-powered machines.

As robots spread across businesses and homes, intelligent machines are set to become increasingly involved in our daily lives. The presence of these robotic ‘companions’ among products, services and furnishings, raises an aesthetic question involving product design as a subject that deals with both design and culture, enhancing a robot's performance through their emotional appeal and recognisable appearance.

Raise your hand if, when talking about robots, you've never thought about androids from Star Wars or Star Trek! Every object that includes technological parts or some form of automation can be defined as such. Still, we all tend to feel uncomfortable or uneasy in front of humanoids that are too robotic to be defined as human or with features that are far too human to be defined as ‘just’ robots.

The programme aims to adapt robotics to people's needs, making robotic objects more empathetic and functional, and finally, to employ aesthetics for a noble purpose - creating trust between humans and robots - so that the former learn to trust and benefit from the latter.

Students will learn how to identify the ideal appearance of robots, combining aesthetic languages and cognitive requirements. They will implement robotic functions and the language of design in defining a robot’s functional structure; they will study the benefits of robot semiotic features to promote user empathy and apply robots to everyday environments; they will fully understand the cultural, anthropological and social implications related to the development and design of human-robot interactions.

The learning experience will include special projects in collaboration with prominent companies in the industry, such as e-Novia, mentored by Odoardo Fioravanti, one of today’s most influential Industrial Designers as well as Global Design Advisor of LG Electronics. Learners will also have the opportunity to connect with established institutions such as the Scuola di Robotica of Genoa, a partner of the Master’s programme in Product Design for Human-Robot Interaction.

Istituto Marangoni supports talent and provides scholarships for the most deserving candidates, even when it comes to robotics. If you dream of a future career in Robotics Design, please apply here.


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