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Techno-Mimesis in VR

06 | 2020 – 12 | 2021

During the project GINA, I advanced the performative method Techno-Mimesis. Together with two masters students (University of Siegen, Goldsmiths University of London), and in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and LAVAlabs Moving Images GmbH & Co. KG the method was brought into virtual reality (VR). 


Techno-Mimesis in VR allows robot developers to experience use scenarios from a robot’s perspective in a more immersive and detailed way. For example, humans are enabled to change their body size into that of the robot, to experience 360° view or to sense 3D-depth. This way robot developers understand robotic superpowers immediately and physically
– always embedded into a use scenario – and are able to emphasize these superpowers in their robot designs. 


Studies revealed that Techno-Mimesis in VR needs to be multi-user, needs to allow for improvisation and must create intermediate double-perspectives (being human and robot at the same time) to be successful.

The University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and LAVAlabs Moving Images GmbH & Co. KG turned the results of the first prototypes and studies into a modular VR-application for robot developers. 


Ruben Albers

Johannes Tscharn


Ruben Albers: Supervision of Master Thesis »Becoming a robot in virtual reality – Making sense of robots by understanding how robots make sense of the world«

Johannes Tscharn: Supervision Master Thesis »Techno-Mimesis in VR«

Hochschule Düsseldorf

LAVAlabs Moving Images GmbH & Co. KG

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Techno-Mimesis in VR was applied for the shopping robot I-RobEka by Ruben Albers. The robot is able to sense 3D-depth, however in a small radius only. 

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Becoming KURT (RobotKoop).

A selection of representation variants of robotic capabilities (such as for 360° perception) that had to be translated for humans.

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