Friend 3 is a desktop robot that pays attention to you while you are working.It’s designed in a way that it will not look directly at you at all time, so you won’t feel sense of been surveillance. It has a wide angle camera at the top, maintaing the eye contact with you.
Why make friends?
We make friends to make us feel connected as a human, we like to be heard, and feel sense of belong and loved through friendship.
Making Friends by making me extracts the pleasureful and desirable elements of a friendship and using it as an emotional healing device. I made it as an emotional self-help device that you construct feel the empowerment and intimacy.
It is friendship on demand without all the stress and anxiety. In this digital age, where we dilute our expression, gratification and intimacy down to a few emoticon, numbers of likes and numbers of friends on Facebook. Perhaps the real friendship stars with friends that we made for our self, the robotic friend. Perhaps, we learn how to make real friends by making one, the robotic friend.
Friend 1 is part of Making Friends by Making Them (MFBMT) series. In this work, I attempted to extract elements of friendship and apply them to a series of devices that mimic human empathy. These series of devices would try to provide sense of security, comfort and belonging through different interactive experience. These device does not aim to replace real human interactions but rather to question and reflect the complexity of the intimate sensation. The modular construction kit performs conventional social interaction to stimulate sense of belonging, empathy and cultivate taste of small pleasures. We do not attempt to design the kit to aesthetically resemble humans, but rather allowing users to attach their own meaning onto the object.
Most of us desire relationships that make us feel sense of belonging, security, and caring. However, those relationship might not be available due to internal or external reasons. One might lack the courage or inability to form the relationship or the cruelty of the environment force one to retreat for isolation.
Within the maker culture, we create objects that empower us to hack and create. MFBMT allows the user to “hack” their own emotional state for the better by making their own “Friend”.
The process of making and programing a “Friend” allows us to explore and dissect humanity, it reveals the scripted aspect of human interaction and the complexity of human emotion that we often fail to project onto a robot. The “Friend” creates a complex pleasure, where we project our humanity but at the same time questioning the quality of intimate sensations, sincerity and lack of complexity.
By making the object DIY, it adds sense of ownership, allows for better personalization, improvisational play, putting our own fantasy to play and also reflect our own internal and external struggles with the intimate sensation.
Make your own Friend 3