For our project, we are planning to make a robot that closely mimics human motion of chewing and shallowing. Robots generate energy by being charged electronically as opposed to how humans gain energy by eating. So, there exists a sense of disparity of robots eating food.

In extension, for the performance, the human performer will be “feeding” the robot by using a spoon to insert food to the robot mouth. During the “feeding” process, the robot will be able to express emotions through neck motion. We are planning to integrate a motor that allows nodding, shaking, and shallowing motion. Utilizing the simple movement of nodding and shaking, the robot will be able express a sign of agreement or rejection towards the human performer.

For more detail on the fabrication and mechanism implementation, we are planning to use a skull model, mouth and nose part of the cpr dummy face mask, dental teeth model, surgical tubings, and actuators. The robot will be made of a human skull model with emphasis of the mouth part for the feeding performance. The teeth part of the skull will be replaced with a realistic dental teeth model to increase the biological sense to the robot. The jaw movements will be actuated similar to how human jaws move. For closing the jaw, actuators connected to the bottom jaw and the side of the skull will be compressed. For opening the jaw, actuators connected to the back of the jaw and the neck bone will be compressed.

By closely mimicking human motion with visible anatomical movement, we are intending to provoke a sense of creepiness to the audience. Biomimicry seems to be a common trend being pushed in robotics, but we wanted to see the conclusions of being biomimetic to a fault. How do we feel when robotics start pushing on our notions and expectations of what only humans should do?