Modulated behavior via physical changes to embodiment
Alphabot is a prototype robot that was used in an educational context to teach children using Blended Reality. Accessibility, or the idea that the space must be designed to allow contributions from the interaction population, was the primary design concern. An inviting front-side of the robot allows contributions by the child to modulate the behavior of the robot (eg. attaching kanji characters begins an interaction in the second language, Japanese or adding a mustache turns it into a butler). The custom elements that the child can incorporate make alphabot a flexible character to interact with kids.
Alphabot also incorporates its virtual alphabot analog to allow a continuation of character from virtual to real world environments via the use of Blended Reality.
Alphabot was built using a standard mobile base elements with laser cut pine wood. It uses Velcro adhesive for the front facing symbol attachment and a low power RFID sensor for symbol detection. Active motion tracking tags were used for position estimation and ZigBee was used for remote control of the robot.
Alphabot was primarily used as an education tool for kids and for psychological experiments on kids to understand the continuity of character in blended reality scenarios.
- David Robert, Imaginative Play with Blended Reality Characters. , 2011. S. M. Media Arts and Sciences, MIT.