Dear South London Makerspace members,
I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch via the mailing list.
I’m a researcher working at the University of Essex (I live in East London). I’m currently working on a project on robotics, automation, sensor technology, AI and digital manufacturing and other new technologies. I’m afraid I’m not tech-ie at all, I’m a social scientist and I’m particularly interested in the social and ethical implications of new technology.
The reason I’m getting in touch, is that I’d really like to include Hackspaces and Makerspaces in my current research project as having an important role in showing alternatives to mass production, mass automation etc. My hope is to research and advocate for organisations that empower people and communities to have more autonomous relationships with technology. As part of the current project, I recently visited a worker co-operative in the USA that makes robots and custom automation.
My previous research includes work on co-operatives and social movements. You can read more about my research and publications here: https://essex.academia.edu/RhiannonFirth
I am writing to the list to ask if anyone on here does any work with robots, automation, or algorithms very broadly conceived; and if so, whether you might be willing to be interviewed as part of my research project?
If anyone is interested in finding out more and/or willing to be interviewed in person or by Skype, then please respond here and let me know how to get in touch. I would be very happy to chat with you more about my research first. Any interviewees would remain anonymous, i.e. there’d be no identifying information. I’m afraid I can’t offer to pay people but I can probably buy lunch/snacks or reimburse travel from the project budget.
I really hope to hear from someone about this. I would also massively appreciate any contacts or links you might have with anyone working with robots/automation/algorithms on an autonomous/DIY basis, or at other Hackspaces, or also if you could flag this up with anyone who may meet the description but might miss this!
Very best wishes,