NAO Emotional Gesture (2012)

NAO Emotional Gesture (2012)

What’s the difference between saying “Hi” with a lethargic wave or an enthusiastic wave? The same gesture can give off a completely different feel, depending on its dynamics. I created a new emotion model called SIRE, whereby specifying Speed, Intensity, Regularity and Extent you can create impressions of happiness, sadness, anger and fear. These are features found to be important across emotion research in music, voice and movement.

For example, in this emotional telepresence application, NAO extracted SIRE parameters from an emotional voice and transferred them to his gesture. The surprising similarities in SIRE parameters in voice and movement suggest a common underlying emotional code even in us humans.

Learn what that emotional code might look like in my journal paper, in particular Table 1 and Table 5.

The SIRE paradigm can be extended to many other robots. Here are some preliminary tests on Keepon using the same SIRE parameters as the NAO, but mapped to different motors: happiness, sadness.

Naovatar - Interactive Storytelling through a Robot (2012)

Help! The professor is trapped on an alien planet, and only you and your Giant Mecha NAO can save her. For Global Game Jam 2013, Ben H. and I developed an interactive story and puzzle game using NAO.

The gameplay is similar to classic text-based adventure games, but the story is told entirely through speech, gesture, and sound effects. By avoiding visuals altogether, the player has to use their imagination. Total development time was less than 18 hours. More details here.

NAO Thereminist (2011)

In 2011, I ported the accompanist playing system to the NAO robot for cuter performances. Here’s him playing Hey Jude and the Theme from Star Trek. We demo’ed it at IROS 2011 in San Francisco under the name “More Cowbell! A Musical Ensemble with the NAO Thereminist.”

NAO Developer Projects (2011-present)

I bought a NAO in 2011 through the NAO Developer program. The purpose is to develop apps for the NAO Store - kind of like the iPhone app store, but for robots! I’ve developed a few prototypes in my spare time to imagine what a robot could do, for example a robot chef, or joke teller.