Robot Design Projects

Vyo Social Robot for the Smart Home

Vyo is a personal assistant serving as a centralized interface for smart home devices. With both social robotics and smart homes on the brink of market feasibility, Vyo offers an alternative to the more common touch-screen and voice-control interfaces. Vyo’s design is that of a peripheral robot, straddling the boundary between home appliance and social presence. Users interact with the device using physical icons and quiet gestures, promoting the domestic sense of home technology.

Travis / Shimi Robotic Speaker Dock

Travis (aka Shimi) is a robotic smartphone speaker dock and music listening companion. Travis is a musical entertainment robot computationally controlled by an Android smartphone, and serves both as an amplified speaker dock, and a socially expressive robot. Travis is designed to enhance a human’s music listening experience by providing social presence and audience companionship, as well as by embodying the music played on the device as a performance. We developed Travis as a research platform to examine human-robot interaction as it relates to media consumption, robotic companionship, nonverbal behavior, timing, and physical presence.

Shimon Robotic Musician

Shimon is a robotic musician, built to explore and research robotic musical improvisation in human-robot joint ensembles. I worked on it in Gil Weinberg’s Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology.

Recognizing that music is not just about note production, but also about communicating with band members and audiences, I set out adding a socially expressive head to the robot. Using a combination of techniques from animation, architecture, motion design, and mechanical engineering, this non-anthropomorphic robot is capable of high expressivity, despite very few degrees-of-freedom. The robot is used in research at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and in musical performances worldwide.

AUR Robotic Desk Lamp

Original Project Page >>

This non-anthropomorphic collaborative robot was developed as part of research on human-robot fluency and collaboration. AUR is used to investigate notions of non-anthropomorphic robotic form, anticipation in joint activity, embodied and perceptual memory, practice in human-robot teams, and the application of theories of theater acting on robot behavior. This robot won the gold prize in the 2007 IEEE Int’l Robot Design Competition.