Robotic Knitting

Re-Crafting Human-Robot Collaboration Through Careful Coboting

As a reaction to typically dead-end debates on future human and robot collaboration that tend to be either dismissive or overly welcoming towards »cobot« technologies, this book provides a technofeminist intervention. Pat Treusch not only shows how both the fields of technofeminism and robotics can engage in a practical exchange through knitting, but also contributes a tangible example of coboting dynamics. Robotic Knitting re-negotiates the boundaries between formalisation and embodiment, craft and high-tech as well as useful and dysfunctional machines. It re-crafts the nature of collaboration between human and robot. This finally entails an alternative mode of relating – a mode that enables an account of careful coboting.

€27.50 * $35.00 *

27 March 2021, 166 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-5203-1

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Pat Treusch

Pat Treusch, Technische Universität Berlin, Deutschland

1. Why did You chose this topic?

I wanted to bring two fields of practice together that I feel passionate about: needlework and robotics. As a technofeminist, I am curious about looking into contemporary sociotechnical certainties from what appears at a first glance as an unconventional angle. However, this angle might not be that unconventional at a second glance. Yarn – as my tool for technofeminist inquiry – builds not only metaphorically but also literally and materially the red thread between weaving looms and robotic futures.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

It offers a new perspective on debates about robotic futures. Practices of robotic automation are deeply entrenched in culture. Emphasising that human-robot relations are sociomaterially enacted, the book reconsiders `our' robotic future as not yet written, but open. Playing with yarn is my hands-on tool for inquiring human-robot collaboration by making the forming of new stitches a collaborative task. In its interventionist nature, it is also a tool for enacting human-robot relations differently.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

Ongoing increasing processes of a technologisation of ›ou‹' everyday lives require new forms of creative and critical engagements beyond debates on either rejecting or mastering technology. Robotic knitting is innovative in its choice of topics as well as its approach. Thus, it contributes equally to current theorisations of human-robot interaction as to interdisciplinary methods of researching, designing and developing technologies across the humanities and technosciences.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

I cannot name one person, but rather believe that this book opens up many avenues for multiple discussions and therefore for a broad group of persons inside and outside of academia to engage with it. Thus, I am very much interested in discussing my book with persons from many different fields of practice and thinking, concerned with ›our‹ technological futures–ideally even opening up new alliances in re-crafting those futures.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

My book knits together the enactment of human-robot collaboration with hand knitting in order to re-craft human-machine relations of the present and future.

Pat Treusch
Book title
Robotic Knitting Re-Crafting Human-Robot Collaboration Through Careful Coboting
transcript Verlag
kart., Dispersionsbindung, 36 Farbabbildungen
Commodity Group
SOC026000 TEC052000 SOC032000 SCI075000
Release date
27 March 2021
Geschlecht, Wissenschaft, Technik
Science and Technology Studies (STS), Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI), Feminist Theory, Sociology
Robots, Technofeminsim, Cobots, Interdisciplinarity, AI, Technology, Gender, Science, Sociology of Technology, Gender Studies, Sociology of Science, Body, Sociology

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