Developing robot head idea 4 – Eureka

Heh. It came to me in class this morning when we were analysing some texts about interactivity. I can put my fears aside about marrying the head with computer, if I simply have the user talk to the head. There’s your interaction. At first, I thought bout getting the head/robot/actor to show the user the videos or data or whatever remotely, but I’m sure how I could do that. So what would have to happen is this:

The user talks to the head, most likely asking questions. The robot then asks the user to open the files on the screen in front of them with the mouse. The idea being that depending on the question, the actor controlling the robot can choose which of the data files to show the user to best illustrate their reply to the enquiries.


Having followed on screen instructions to turn the robot on, the robot introduces itself and asks the users name. He then states his own name, or asks the user to give him one.

User: So what happened to you? Where are you from?

Robot: My memory is badly damaged. We will have to figure this out together. You can help me remember. I can show you my earliest memory. Click file number 00AVG1.

Video content plays, showing how the robot came into being. There should be other files to back this up, like newspaper clippings, pictures, maybe even a poster campaign for the robot product. The user can look at this at their leisure.

I’m off to work in a minute, so I won’t write too much more now. But this is all becoming much clearer in my mind, which is a definite step forward.

I thought about how the finished piece should be presented, and it occurred to me that there should really be a time limit for each user. I’d prefer it if people were to engage the project individually, as there might be more chance of an emotional connection between user and robot. In a group, this may be diluted.

On another note, I think I’ll be able to make the computer content all in after effects, and with a DVD authoring program to choose the files the user will watch. In an ideal world, the product would be in flash, and more interactive elements would be involved, but for now I’m content to to make the user converse with the robot – that’s where the real interaction is, in the performance of the actor/robot and the relationship that gets struck up between them and the user. It could be that the user doesn’t trust the robot, and so doesn’t want to help it remember. I t could be that that the user sympathises and wants the robot to return to full power.

We shall see upon writing the script and content.

Oh, I should point out that this idea was stemmed from the text we read today, more specifically about story tellers of old reacting to their audience and modifying the tale to suit their tastes. No plot set in stone, just a sequence of events that can be explored in as much or a s little detail as the user requests.


~ by traumatron on November 28, 2007.

One Response to “Developing robot head idea 4 – Eureka”

  1. Not sure if this will be helpful to you, but I just came across a site devoted to the Chris Crawford text we looked at today in class, that is all about interactive storytelling. Might help you with your ideas.

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