This paper investigates the philosophical and designerly questions of how the concepts of familiarity, orientation, and habituation can be used to understand a self-moving (semi-autonomous robot) table at home. Tables are familiar habituated objects in domestic settings for people with various abilities. We explore the idea of a self-moving table through the lens of universal design. Phenomenology is applied to get a grip on ways of orienting and being oriented by such habituated familiar objects. Specifically, we investigate how the t-able is used as a telephone table, where the telephone is always charged and in a fixed place on the table. This is an attempt to make the telephone easier to use and relate to at home. The paper aims to inform future robots’ design for the independently living elderly by designing robots mainly from natural materials, such as wood. We also discuss similarities and differences between the universal design of the built environment and ICT environments with this paper.
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