Theater & Performance Art Interactive Installation & Digital Performance

Come Hither To Me! (2018-20)

Come Hither to Me

By Sahar Sajadieh and Hannah Wolfe

Technical Specification

A custom-built interactive robotic performer and an affective computing research platform for human robot interaction:

  • Constructed on a base unit (iRobot CREATE)
  • Used an embedded computer (RaspberryPi) with a digital camera, a low-resolution heat camera (Melexis 90620), a microcontroller (ArduinoMega), proximity sensors, and speakers
  • Spatial navigation using iRobot CREATE bump sensors, waist-height proximity sensors, and a low-resolution heat camera
  • Decision tree dialogue structure and Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network
  • Costume and embodiment design inspired by Bauhaus and Futurist performance design

Come Hither To Me is an interactive robotic performance piece, which examines the emotive social interaction between an audience and a robot. Our interactive intelligent robot will attempt to communicate and flirt with audience members in the gallery space. The robot will use feedback from sensors, auditory data, and computer vision techniques to learn about the participants and inform the conversation. The female robot will approach the audience, pick her favorites, and starts charming them with seductive comments, funny remarks, backhanded compliments, and personal questions. We are interested in evoking emotions in the participating audience through their interactions with the robot.  This piece strives to invert gender roles and stereotypical expectations in flirtatious interactions. The performative artwork explores the dynamics of social interactions, objectification of women, and the gamification of seduction. The robot reduces flirtation to an algorithm, codifying pick-up lines and sext/texting paradigms. This work will be done as a collaboration between Hannah Wolfe and Sahar Sajadieh.

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Paper Publication: 

Sajadieh, Sahar, and Hannah Wolfe. “Come Hither to Me: Performance of a Seductive Robot.” In Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, p. INT030. ACM, 2019.  https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3313287

Art Exhibition: 

  • 2019: CHI 2019 Interactivity, Art Installations, Glasgow, UK
  • 2018: Media Arts and Technology End of Year Show, UCSB
  • 2018: Santa Barbara Center for Arts Science and  Technology (SBCAST), Santa Barbara, CA

Meet ROVERita:

ROVERita is the female embodiment of ROVER (the Reactive Observant Vacuous Emotive Robot).  ROVER is an interactive robotic performer that navigates the gallery and communicates with visitors when it finds people. ROVER is both a robotic sculpture as well as an affective computing research platform. For ROVER, the context of media arts drove design decisions for research in human robot interaction. It also learns about the space it navigates, mapping obstacles and people, using proximity, bump, and heat sensors.

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