Speculative Design

The first device that came to mind when the term speculative design was mentioned was the Kuri Mobile Robot.


The Kuri Mobile Robot is a home robot that is designed for entertainment in the household. Unlike robots that focus on house cleanliness, and connectivity with the different devices in your home, Kuri is like a smart pet that can provide real-time emotional feedback to the voice and provide audio entertainment. It is similar to a monitor camera as live feedback can be activated by the user of the application to see what is going on in the household and it also sends notifications to the application user if there is unusual activity in certain areas of the home. Customized messages and missions can be told to Kuri through the application (using IoT), such as “check if Suzy has returned home” or “make sure the cat is not on the kitchen table”, and Kuri would know how to navigate to the specific room or area to check.

Unfortunately, the Kuri robot has cancelled its production and Mayfield Robotics has closed down. Thus giving me the inspiration to build on the current features that the Kuri Robot possesses and make it more appealing and practical to the modern household

ToBot : Bringing people together in a household

Concept: To bring people together within a home physically and emotionally.

With Coronavirus making a huge impact on peoples’ lifestyles, many people are distant both physically and emotionally. That applies to family members in a home as well. Increased work from home schedules create unwanted tension as these family members do not know how to navigate the house at foreign timings when they should be in the office, or chance upon some unknown habits of the other family member. Thus, the ToBot is here to make sure family members can sort out their schedule and navigate around the household more smoothly, thus creating less disturbence and unwanted tensions.

The ToBot can register in each member’s daily schedule and customise them accordingly by giving each member a notification of the other member’s activity state within the household, or notify if any activities clash (e.g. mealtimes for lunch/breakfast). The ToBot can also help to arrange common timings for activities such as destressing activities to get away from work, family movie time, family dinner, etc. The ToBot can travel to each room to notify or gather the family members for these activities or send them the day’s activity log whenever a member calls for the ToBot. Using a neutral device to gather people can create less arguments as well.

In terms of practicality, the ToBot can include the basic cleaning capacities that household cleaning devices contain (vacuum, smart home control) but it can also contain an auto disinfectant spray and conduct daily house disinfecting (in light of covid). The entertainment aspects of it remains somewhat the same, where it plays music and videos (and light displays).

ToBot Speculative Design Sketches

Whats Next?

  • Collaboration with companies such as Google or Alexa to integrate the smart search and control system into the ToBot software.
  • Variations in Designs: Making some animal based designs to make it more pet-like