Carnegie Mellon University

Hello! We are a diverse group complete with members who work in interaction designer, engineer, HCI, and psychology fields. Our group came together upon realizing a shared interest in technology for creative outputs. We noticed an emerging trend of specific design tools resulting in signature aesthetics, making it apparent what tools were used to make a design. This observation invokes speculation about the human relationship to design tools. How much authorship does that design tool have over the final product? How much credit does the human take if the result looks visually similar to every other result made by that same tool? How much does technology actually influence our creative process, and how much do we perceive that ourselves? These are the questions we asked ourselves when starting our project. We discovered that although users are not necessarily inclined to allow design tools to influence their designs, there is a relationship between a design tool and a designer which impacts their personal perceptions of their designs. The system we developed helps us understand better the human relationship to the tools we use, as well as our own perceptions of creativity during the interaction. We believe that by using a robotic arm, people seem to have the illusion of autonomy and agency of the robot while interacting with it, which has an impact on the nature of the interaction. Even though our current software uses the haptic device as a simple a tool, people have given the paint bot a level of credibility, invoking a sense of collaboration with the robot that we are still researching through user studies.

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