“Interbots Initiative: An Extensible Platform for Interactive Social Experiences With an Animatronic Character” by Bosley, Hosmer, Harger, Culyba, Haskell, et al. …

  • ©Will Bosley, Andy Hosmer, Brenda Harger, Dave Culyba, Sabrina Haskell, TJ Jackson, Seema Patel, Christine Skarulis, Peter Stepniewicz, Jim Valenti, Salim Zayat, Eugenia Leu, and Jichen Zhu


Entry Number: 08


    Interbots Initiative: An Extensible Platform for Interactive Social Experiences With an Animatronic Character



    At Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, artists and technologists work together on projects that emphasize user experience. The Interbots Initiative specifically focuses on creating complete, interactive, believable experiences with animatronic characters. The most important factor in the success of these experiences is personality. However, the fields of human-robot interaction and entertainment robotics have thus far been largely limited to technical specialists: animators, writers, and other artists who design characters with interactive content. This project opens robotics to non-technologists through an easily extensible platform for rapid development of social interactions between humans and animatronic characters.

    The extensible Interbots platform’s greatest strength is that it provides an interface between artistic vision and technological implementation. Maya, a 3D modeling program, allows 3D artists to directly export animations to the animatronic robot’s hardware. The platform leverages the power of Macromedia Flash and Macromedia Director, two multimedia applications most artists are very familiar with. Finally, a custom behavior-authoring tool allows people with no programming experience to design personalities and behaviors for the robot.


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