(PhysOrg.com) -- Ji-Dong Yim and Chris Shaw, scientists in Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), are the proud parents of a robotic cell phone family that can walk, dance and express human-like emotions.
Yim, a doctoral student, and Shaw, an associate professor, first used cell phone technology to create Cally, a physically active robotic cell phone that stands roughly 16 centimeters high. She walks, dances and mimics human gestures. She can also help cell phone users make electronic eye contact with the person to whom they are talking by tracking human faces.
The SIAT researchers have most recently used wireless networking, text messaging and other interactive technologies to give birth to Callo. He is taller (almost 23 centimeters) and more emotionally sophisticated than his older sister.
Callo’s viewing screen registers text-messaged emoticons as human-like facial expressions. His robotic shoulders can slump and his arms can start waving frantically if he’s interactively triggered to respond to an emotional crisis, such as relationship break up.
“Imagine you are video-calling with me through Callo,” explains Yim. “When you move your robot, my robot will move the same, and vice versa, so that we can share emotional feelings using ‘physically smart’ robot phones.”
Shaw, Yim’s doctoral supervisor, says the two are developing a wide range of human-robot cell phone service scenarios and prototypes of Cally, Callo and their siblings. He adds, “We’re using them to explore ways in which we can help social robotic products, such as GPS, interactively communicate with people and build long-term intimacy with them.”
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-- Designing CALLY, a Cell-phone Robot, Ji-Dong Yim and Chris Shaw, Proceedings of CHI'09 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Design Practice, Boston, MA, Apr. 4-9, 2009, 4 pages, doi.acm.org/10.1145/1520340.1520378
-- CALLY: The Cell-phone Robot with Affective Expressions, Ji-Dong Yim and Chris Shaw, Late breaking poster in HRI'09, La Jolla, CA, Mar. 11-13, 2009, 2 pages, portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1514095.1514195