Transmission in Motion


Announcement: Project “Dramaturgy for Devices”




Maaike Bleeker receives 2,1 million euros in funding for the project “Dramaturgy for Devices: Designing Sustained Relationships with Robots and other Smart Technologies” from the Dutch Research Agenda programme Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC). This project is a collaboration between Utrecht University, TUDelft, VU and UTwente and a great number of other partners.

Performing arts for more social robots

Robots are increasingly part of our daily lives; already, they help provide medical care, care for our homes and gardens, and support education and the workplace. They are increasingly capable of performing simple tasks and conveying messages, but lack many skills needed for social interaction and communication, Maaike Bleeker says. “In the Dramaturgy for Devices project, we will focus on the social skills of robots supporting people in, for example, education, healthcare, and hospitality.” To this end we collaborate with, among others, the Hotelschool Den Haag, Interactive Robotics/Robots in de Klas, Heemskerk Innovation Technology, Dalco Robotics and Robovalley.

“In particular, we will investigate how expertise from theatre can contribute to the developments of robots’ social skills.” For this, researchers will collaborate with theatre and dance makers. “We will show how the performing arts can contribute to innovative design tools and methods, and demonstrate the value of the skills and knowledge of theatre practice for technological innovation.”

“It’s amazing that because of this grant we can now collaborate long-term with artists Ulrike Quade, Anouk van Dijk, and Bram Ellens, and also a host of other partners from the theatre field, including Theater Utrecht, ICK Amsterdam, the AHK, Wintertuin, the Robot Theater Lab, and the European Lab for Robotics in Art and Theater. With the wealth of knowledge and skills they possess, we can make interactions between humans and robots not only better and more effective, but also more imaginative, fun, interesting, and exciting. Theatre is truly a fantastic tool for exploring and questioning imaginary futures with robots.”


Updates on Dramaturgy for Devices will be posted on the Performing Robots website. To stay informed on this project, please subscribe to the Performing Robots newsletter.