Week 4: Concept Development

Anshuman Mander - Thu 26 March 2020, 2:03 pm
Modified: Thu 26 March 2020, 7:37 pm

This week has certainly been an interesting one. At the end of week 3, all students got anouncement about the pause in teaching for a week. During this break, our team consisting of Ben, me, Tim and Amraj (BATA SKWAD) got more time to further look into different inspirations for refining our concept. Our ideation process was bit on the messy side but its better to fail fast, fail often. Here's our process -

Part 1: Idea dump

Towards the end of third week, we had a lot of ideas regarding sassy tech, too many even. Some of them are:

  • Dad Bot - Stands arms crossed, disappointed at everything you do.
  • Evil Sister - Ignores you and gets mad when you ignore her.
  • Sassy shopping center - Eyes look at you in judgement when you go towards unhealthy food section.

There were a dozen more mixed ideas like these, most of them derived from session on Wednessday in Week 3. All of the new ideas were random and didn't have much to offer. We had difficulty choosing and finalising one idea. What this experience taught us was that without a goal, ideas are useless. The day spent on ideating with no goal has no outcome. We could not decide an idea because we had no criterias & criteria's are important in making decision. To generate criterias, we had to set a goal and that's what we did.

Therefore after another discussion, we decided to progress towards ideas that actually teach you something, be it a life lesson or increasing awareness about issues. From here on, we headed individually towards second part of ideation, inspirations.

Part 2: Inspirations

The group decided to do further background research before sitting down for ideation session, this time with a goal in mind: teaching through sassiness. While researching, my mind wandered towards tech with personality. I came across Westworld (a TV show), where human like robots are made as game for rich people. The rich people torture them and robots eventually gain conciousness and retaliate against humans. Similar to terminator but, it's main idea was you get treated as you treat. In our next meeting, everyone layed out what they found interesting and a basis for concept was formed - Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. We aimed at exploring what would happen if the robots didn't obey these laws.

Part 3: The Concept

Research into dystopian worlds where robots retaliate against humans, be it the HAL 9000 (in 2001: A space odyssey), irobot or westworld gave us the direction, where the robots defy the Asimov's rule. Hence, our concept goal became to make people aware about treatment of robots and their possibility of retaliation.

The concept we came up with was a maze game. The maze was completed by a person with the support of a robot that suggests path to complete the maze. Whenever you reach a decision point, the robot suggests doors to open. If you listen to robot nothing happens but if you ignore his suggestion, robot's health goes down.


The more damage you do to robot, more sassy it becomes and eventually leads you to the wrong path. What we want people to reflect through our concept is their trust in robots. Somewhat blind trust that people may have in machines, even in online sites or softwares who share their data is too much. We just want people to pay more attention to these things.