Playware Research – Methodological Considerations

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Several sub-disciplines of engineering are driven by the researchers’ aim of providing positive change to the society through their engineering. These researchers are challenged by the traditional research method of experimental research with a waterfall model which demands clearly defined project definition and functional requirements, and impose a sequential processes leading to the final system evaluation, which may lead to solutions which work in the lab, but have little impact in the messy real world. Based on two decades research in developing engineering systems with a societal impact (e.g. in robotics, embodied AI, and playware), in this paper we suggest a cyclic research method based on a mix between participatory and experimental processes. In particular, inspiration from the action research method applied to interdisciplinary technology development becomes a participatory approach characterized by rapid prototyping cycles which allow iterative technology specification and development together with people in their real world environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Robotics Networks and Artificial Life
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)23-27
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Playware
  • Research Method
  • Synthesis
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Modular Technology

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