Conference Paper

Luria, M., Hoffman, G., Megidish, B., Zuckerman, O., and Park, S. (2016)

Designing Vyo, a Robotic Smart Home Assistant: Bridging the Gap Between Device and Social Agent

Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication


We describe the design process of  “Vyo”, a personal assistant serving as a centralized interface for smart home devices. Building on the concepts of ubiquitous and engaging computing in the domestic environment, we identified five design goals for the home robot: engaging, unobtrusive, device-like, respectful, and reassuring. These goals led our design process, which included simultaneous iterative development of the robot’s morphology, nonverbal behavior and interaction schemas. We continued with user-centered design research using puppet prototypes of the robot to assess and refine our design choices. The resulting robot, Vyo, straddles the boundary between a monitoring device and a socially expressive agent, and presents a number of novel design outcomes: The combination of TUI “phicons” with social robotics; gesture-related screen exposure; and a non-anthropomorphic monocular expressive face. We discuss how our design goals are expressed in the elements of the robot’s final design.