Softly Non-Spoken: Exploring the Potential of Soft Robotics to Support Non-Verbal Communication

Oldfield, Alison ORCID: 0000-0002-4620-299X, Broomfield, Katherine ORCID: 0000-0001-7510-876X, Philamore, Hemma ORCID: 0000-0003-1457-9554, Sewell, Richard ORCID: 0009-0006-6847-9638 and Powell, Emma ORCID: 0009-0007-4146-5006 (2024) Softly Non-Spoken: Exploring the Potential of Soft Robotics to Support Non-Verbal Communication. In: Extended Abstracts of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, Art 296. ISBN 9798400703317

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Existing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) technologies aim to support people with communication disability participate more fully in life and society, but these often prioritize linguistic and spoken modes of expression. Embracing a broader view of communication that includes non-verbal and embodied expressions, this interdisciplinary project explored the potential of soft robotics for developing AAC technologies that create opportunities for more nuanced forms of communication. To do this, the Softly Non-Spoken project facilitated interdisciplinary workshops and developed soft robotic objects which were then used as probes to explore how such technologies might support expressive, affective non-verbal communication. Results suggest that soft robotics materials and functions offer potential in this design space, including compelling possibilities for object-enabled human interaction that could offer more individual control around communication. The findings also propose a conceptualization of communication that encompasses embodied expression and could cultivate ambiguity and intrigue in future AAC design.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Conference contribution CHI EA ’24, May 11–16, 2024, Honolulu, HI, USA
Uncontrolled Keywords: Augmentative and Alternative Communication; Communication; Disability; Soft Robotics
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software > QA76.9 Other topics > QA76.9.H85 Human-computer interaction
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Health and Social Care
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
SWORD Depositor: Pubrouter
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 16:04
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 16:15

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