News/May 2024
Person writing on a notepad next to a computer screen and an green cat environment, with monitors in the background.

A recent research paper co-written by the Blast Theory artists and the University of Nottingham has won a prestigious Best Paper Award at the annual Computer-Human Interaction Conference (CHI’24) in Hawaii.

Designing Multispecies Worlds for Robots, Cats, and Humans” argues that in Cat Royale, the design of the ‘world’ in which the technology operates is as important as the design of the technology itself and its interactions with the three cats. The research also highlights the necessity of human involvement in areas such as breakdown recovery and animal welfare – and of course the role of humans as audience.

“At first glance, the project is about designing a robot to enrich the lives of a family of cats by playing with them”, commented Professor Steve Benford from the University of Nottingham who led the research, “Under the surface, however, it explores the question of what it takes to trust a robot to look after our loved ones and potentially ourselves.”

Research workshops for Cat Royale were held at the University of Nottingham’s unique Cobotmaker Space where stakeholders were brought together to think about the design of the robot and the welfare of the cats.

Read more via the University of Nottingham website.

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