The next generation of robot research will study the formation of relations between humans and humanoids. The exterior design of the robot will be integral to clarifying its diverse mechanical functions and asserting its autonomy ? distinct from that of a mere object. It is this distinction that will enable humans to interact meaningfully with the robot. The designer now has to strive towards designing the relationship between the human and the robot. Traditionally, robotic systems have necessitated by the nature of its inner mechanisms the dynamic by which the robot is appraised from the standpoint of the human gazing upon an object. The exterior design of the robot has transformed this notion by subverting the viewpoint so that the object is looking back at the human; thus creating in between a spatial dimension previously unexplored in the research of humanoid robot design.
Primarily, engineering factors have determined the humanoid form the most expedient in robot design. For robots to be successfully integrated into human society their primary mobile functions will have to negotiate the same obstacles encountered by humans in daily life. In their role of aiding disaster relief and other potentially lethal employment, they will require the optimal mobility afforded by the human form in a human-designed landscape.
However, taking robotics a step further; the robot as a coveted consumer item reflecting the desires and aspirations of its user, it is necessary to reflect upon a system of aesthetic standards to be employed for the user to assert possession by means of psychological affiliation with the object. Thus the design must conform to the variable expectations of the user. In some cases the user may identify with the object on the basis of an aesthete: is this form compatible with already existing notions of beauty? Can this form be visualized in the context of ggreat arth? In other cases the user may project upon the object his or her longings for something entirely different; whether it be basic companionship or possession of yet another desirable in status terms gadget.