Doing being a telepresence robot. Establishing Inter-corporeal/machine-ity

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

A telepresence robot enables visual and audible access to remote settings through a video camera. Recently, there have been a mobility turn in video-mediated research, paying more attention to not only the fixed computers/cameras, but also use of smart technologies, which affords moving around (Licoppe & Morel, 2014). However, a telepresence robot is quite different than the typically examined object (smartphone) because it is not carried and used in situ by a present person, but is a large self-contained moveable object (robot). Consequently, it occupies a physical position in space, it is mobile, controlled by a dislocated actor and it is seemingly oriented to as a man-machine-figuration: a cyborg (Clark, 2004). Based on multimodal interaction analysis (Streeck, Goodwin, & LeBaron, 2011; Mondada, 2014), and specifically within the mediated interaction tradition (Arminen, Licoppe, & Spagnolli, 2016), this paper reports on findings from a nursing home in Denmark, where a doctor is virtually present through a telepresence robot (BeamPro) . The paper will provide an analysis of the spatial and embodied practices of the (remotely controlled) robot. We will show how 1) the object (robot) and the doctor is oriented to by situated participants as one agent in a participation framework with shifting contextual configurations (Goodwin, 2000), e.g. demonstratively paying attention to spatial distance and mutual positions in space (Goffman, 1963; Hall, 1966; Kendon, 1990; Mondada, 2009). And 2) how the man-machine-figuration (cyborg) performs embodied actions through (machine-)gaze, (machine-)head turning and (machine-)posture (cf. Goodwin, 1979, 1980, 1981; Kendrick & Holler, 2017). The paper is based on approximately 30 hours of video recordings from 5 situations within the same nursing home in Denmark. Each situation was synchronically recorded from three different locations: one GoPro on the robot, one GoPro filming the robot on a distance and one GoPro filming the doctor in his office. References Arminen, I., Licoppe, C., & Spagnolli, A. (2016). Respecifying Mediated Interaction. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 49(4), 290–309. Clark, A. (2004). Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence (1 edition). Oxford University Press. Goffman, E. (1963). Behavior in Public Places: Notes on the Social Organization of Gatheri. see notes for publisher info. Goodwin, C. (1979). The Interactive Construction of a Sentence in Natural Conversation. In G. Psathas (Ed.) Everyday Language: Studies in Ethnomethodology (pp. 97–121). New York, Irvington Publishers. Goodwin, C. (1980). Restarts, Pauses, and the Achievement of a State of Mutual Gaze at Turn-Beginning. Sociological Inquiry, vol:50 hft.:3-4, 272. Goodwin, C. (1981). Conversational Organization: Interaction Between Speakers and Hearers. New York: Academic Press. Goodwin, C. (2000). Action and Embodiment Within Situated Human Interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 32(10), 1489–1522. Hall, E. T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension. New York: Anchor. Kendon, A. (1990). Conducting Interaction: Patterns of Behavior in Focused Encounters. Cambridge ;;New York: Cambridge University Press. Kendrick, K. H., & Holler, J. (2017). Gaze Direction Signals Response Preference in Conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 50(1), 12–32. Licoppe, C., & Morel, J. (2014). Mundane video directors. Showing one’s environment in Skype and mobile video calls. In Studies of Video Practices: Video at Work. Editors: M. Broth, E. Laurier, L. Mondada (pp. 135–160). Routledge. Mondada, L. (2009). Emergent focused interactions in public places: A systematic analysis of the multimodal achievement of a common interactional space. Journal of Pragmatics, 41(10), 1977–1997. Mondada, L. (2014). The local constitution of multimodal resources for social interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 65, 137–156. Streeck, J., Goodwin, C., & LeBaron, C. (2011). Embodied Interaction: Language and Body in the Material World. Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2nd Symposium on Embodied Interaction: Gesture, Touch, and Embodied Meaning-making - University of Southern Denmark , Odense
Duration: 26 Jun 201827 Jun 2018


Conference2nd Symposium on Embodied Interaction
LocationUniversity of Southern Denmark
Internet address

ID: 198765342