In the photograph (by Srinivas Madhisetty), my software is giving Steve Wozniak a hug by a PR2 robot.
The software is inspired by a package called
pr2_props for autonomous demonstrations and lab-visits.
Instead of performing fixed actions on command, it performs six “social” behaviours:
The surprising thing about these simple behaviours is how much they achieve in engaging visitors. In particular, the eye-contact conveys a sense of “lifelike vitality”. The other behaviours give the robot a sense of purpose and intention. Combined, the effect is extraordinary: a robotic equivalent to the ELIZA effect.
It certainly seemed to engage Mr Wozniak.
Published 1 February 2014 by Benjamin Johnston.