How to make and effective robot comedian

Name: Heather Knight
Knowledge Required: Programming knowledge and/or background in HCI. Experience in theater, comedy or performance not required but a plus.
Motivation: Stand up comedy is a great metaphor for robots in human environments, because it is both planned – the bits are practiced, and live – the performer appears to be (or may actually be) creating at least some of the content in the moment. Robots could benefit from a similar flexibility in their interactions with people; the deviations give a sense of liveness, while the planned portions make the behaviors tractable to create. Over the past six years, Knight and her Nao robot have performed a two-agent comedy act in venues across North America and Europe. The purpose of this project is to validate some of their live findings into publishable research.
Description: Primary contributions will be robot behavior design and testing with people. Students are expecting to produce a parameterizable live performance with a robot that will be performed with a human audience (with varying parameters) several times.
Objectives: -Crafting a flexible robot set list with audience sensing
-Conveying Authenticity and Liveness
-Integration of Robot Character
-Audience Sensing
Deliverables: 1. Performance algorithms
2. Performance sequences and bits
3. Simple audience model
4. Series of studies with live audiences
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   D. Kevin McGrath
   Last modified: Tue Mar 6 10:29:08 2018