AI News, Vyo Is a Fascinating and Unique Take on Social Domestic Robots

Vyo Is a Fascinating and Unique Take on Social Domestic Robots

The way to make a social home robot seems to be pretty standardized: basically, you cram a tablet computer into a cute robot body with some degrees of freedomanddo your best to make sure that your voice recognition and conversation algorithms are as good of an experience as you possibly can, using a screen to help you out when necessary.

With those general design considerations in mind, the researchers also identified a series of five design goals for Vyo based on prior research, experience, and user studies: Putting all of that stuff together into a physical robot isn’t easy, and the design process was a complex one, with the researchers exploring two different form factors: one of the microscope-like social robot (which ended upclose to the final design for Vyo), and another that was more heavily influenced by consumer electronics: As with any social robot, the way it looks is only a part of the experience.

Just as an example, we went through many versions of the neck angle in animation trying to show a respectful attentiveness in animation, before actually building the mechanical joints for the robot.” The final piece here is the way in which users can interact with Vyo: by placing little objects that represent connected home systems directly on the robot, and then manipulating them to control those systems.

This is certainly a unique approach, but it seems like it would be less efficient than voice commands or using a touchscreen, so we asked Hoffman about it: The connection between social robotics and tangible user interfaces (like the physical icons) has never been suggested, and my collaborator Oren Zuckerman (an expert in [tactile user interfaces]) and I wanted to offer that relationship as a new HCI approach.

Right now, the researchers are experimentally comparing Vyo’s interaction technique with more traditional ones (screen-based and voice-based interfaces) to see which ones come closer to meeting the design goals of the robot.South Korean mobile operatorSK Telecom has already taken some of the lessons that were learned during Vyo’s design process and is applying them to itssmart home business strategy.

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.

Many of the suggested interface solutions for smart homes are split between voice control and touch screens, betraying the “domestic”

Finally, the connection between social robotics and tangible user interfaces (like the physical icons) has never been suggested, we wanted to offer that relationship as a new HCI approach.

Tangible icons representing information offer several interaction benefits such as quick overview of the status with a short glance, bimanual / simultaneous operation (you could swipe off all the icons in a hurry, to turn all the devices off), and fine motor control.

Finally, placing things is a very democratic interface, for example for populations who would have a harder time navigating a complex on-screen menu or a voice interface.

Vyo - Social Robot for the Smart Home [IDC : Cornell : SKT]

Vyo - a social robot designed to manage your smart home. A collaboration between the IDC Media Innovation Lab (milab), Cornell Human-Robot Collaboration & Companionship Lab (HRC^2), and SK...

VYO - A Social Robot For A Smart Home

Vyo - a social robot designed to manage your smart home. SUBSCRIBE PLEASE - Subscribe For More such Videos SUBSCRIBE PLEASE -

How Human Body Language Will Shape the Future of Robotics - Guy Hoffman | SDF2014

Roboticist Guy Hoffman questions the assumption of 'predictable, uncreative robots' by developing robots that "think with their bodies". The key to the future of robotics, he says, lies in...