The ‘fluidity’ of beings portrayed through human-robot interaction: an analysis of human-to-Roomba robot relations
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Based on my analysis, I found that there are a variety of ways in which individuals interact with and emotionally engage with their Roomba iRobots, via participation in a brand community or through forms of anthropomorphism such as treating it as a pet or human. I explain that there is a spectrum regarding the extent to which individuals anthropomorphize their Roomba and emotionally engage with the device. The thesis concludes with the finding that some individuals emotionally engage with their Roomba in a significant way, while others desire a disconnection from their device. I end with the suggestion that sociologists continue to consider the implications of people’s increasing interactions with technological objects and further investigate different areas of human-robot emotional connection.