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.

Collaborators: Gil Weinberg, Rob Aimi.

Travis is also our first robot build according to the “Dumb Robot, Smart Phone” paradigm.  Combining sensor-rich, high-performance mobile devices with simple, low-cost robotic platforms could help accelerate the adoption of personal robotics in real-world environments.

Related papers: Ro-Man 2012, HRI 2013