Project C05: Mechanical Human Differentiation

Technical Knowledge and the Ethnosociology of Robotics

This project explores the development and testing of socio-humanoid robots, as well as the process of their design, their mechanical components, and their functions. In so doing, it investigates just how these mechanical beings receive their humanized appearance and how they are equipped with a human-like repertory of behavior, in the aim of making human-machine encounters as smooth as possible. At the heart of the project is the empirical observation of human-theoretical assumptions about ‘being human,’ the informational and mechanical implementation of these assumptions integrating them into form of the mechanical beings, and social encounters with these humanized mechanical entities: a techno-human interaction. Thus, this project contributes to the analysis of the ontological outer limits of human categorization, and addresses the work of categorization that sets humans and machines apart.

Project team
Prof. Dr. Herbert Kalthoff (PI)
Hannah Link (PhD student)
Marie Großmann (PhD student)