Sartorial Robotics by Adam Whiton

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Robotics and Clothing

Whether deliberate or not, sartorial semiotics can be observed in several research robots currently being used and developed. We can see examples of sartorial semiotics in NASA’s Robonaut. Robonaut was engineered to mimic the human body as the intended function is in a telepresence application for space based repairs and missions. The human form factor and size was also chosen so that the robot could operate in the same spaces that the astronauts could and use the same tools and equipment. Although Robonaut lacks any detailed facial features for communicating facial expressions, Robonaut is designed for peer-to-peer interactions with other astronaut team members. Robonaut does however have a jacket made of space suit material layers such as, Nomax, Kevlar etc. which acts functionally as impact protection but also acts as a uniform with appropriate mission patches and insignias and sponsor logos, Figure 2-11.

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