HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

Romo The Robot

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Romo 2Romo is a small robot that moves on tank treads and uses an iPhone for a face. Developed by Romotive as a result of a Kickstarter campaign, Romo includes a host of features, such as the ability to track a face, missions, and a programming lab.

Romo is assembled by attaching an iPhone or an iPod Touch to a small robotic base. An accompanied app turns the iDevice into Romo’s funny face. The face has a variety of expressions and emotional states, and by utilizing the front facing iOS camera Romo’s eyes can seemingly track objects adding life-like behavior to the robot. Romo moves around via tank like treads and can also tilt its “head”, the iDevice, to better look up and down. The face can be touched for a host of reactions, including tickling. Besides the AI controlled behavior, Romo can be remote controlled with an additional iDevice.

Romo comes with training missions to help use it in more varied ways. Completing missions unlocks advanced features: for example, Romo can learn to follow other objects and track both faces and paths marked on the floor. It can record and transmit anything it sees to another iOS device, thus allowing users to chat through it. The unlocked behaviors can be programmed in a free roam Lab mode to create unique behaviors.

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Author: teehex

Heikki Tyni is a researcher for the Hybridex project at University of Tampere Gamelab. Into comics and old movies.

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