A conversational robotic assistant for an educational space
1/ To explore the value of a conversational robot within an educational space.
2/ To explore a new model of Human-Robot collaboration.
Kadara is a conversational robot that is designed for a specific space. As opposed to existing conversational interfaces that are designed for the home (google home, Alexa), or that live in the phone and are thus not place-specific, Kadara is an agent that belongs to a specific place: the Kadar Design and Technology Center, an educational space in Shenkar. Kadara’s purpose is to assist people in the center – students and other visitors – both in practical needs and in creating an increased belonging to the place.
Kadara serves a number of functions: finding and presenting documentation of projects created in the Center, locating equipment, as well as general information and guidance around the Center. These functions are distributed around the space: Kadara can point to components in the equipment cupboards, present movies on the smart screen and teach the basics of soldering at the soldering table.
An important aspect of Kadara is its movement. Instead of developing the complex self-movement required for navigating the space, we propose a model of Human-Robot collaboration in which each side performs the function that is easiest for them. When the user asks Kadara for something, Kadara asks the user to move it to the location in the space in which it can perform the task. Kadara then uses its data sources and conversational abilities to perform the task, by describing, pointing and guiding.
We are currently at the project stage of designing Kadara – what embodiment will be right for this robotic agent? Current prototype involves plastics and textile, and have a few “pirches” located around the lab.