AIDA is part of the Sociable Car - Senseable Cities project which is a collaboration between the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab and the Senseable Cities Group at MIT. The AIDA robot was designed and built by the Personal Robots Group, while the Senseable Cities Group is working on intelligent navigation algorithms.
One of the aim of the project is to expand the relationship between the car and the driver with the goal of making the driving experience more effective, safer, and more enjoyable. As part of this expanded relationship, the researchers plan to introduce a new channel of communication between automobile and driver/passengers. This channel would be modeled on fundamental aspects of human social interaction including the ability to express and perceive affective/emotional state and key social behaviors.
In pursuit of these aims they have developed the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA), a novel in-car interface capable of communicating with the cars occupants using both physical movement and a high resolution display. This interface is a research platform, which can be used as a tool for evaluating various topics in the area of social human-automobile interaction. Ultimately, the research conducted using the AIDA platform should lead to the development of new kinds of automobile interfaces, and an evolution in the relationship between car and driver.
Currently the AIDA research platform consists of a fully functional robotic prototype embedded in a stand-alone automobile dash. The robot has a video camera for face and emotion recognition, touch sensing, and an embedded laser projector inside of the head. Currently a driving simulator is being developed around the AIDA research platform in order to explore this new field of social human-automobile interaction. The researcher’s intention is that a future version of the robot based on the current research will be installed into a functioning test vehicle.
The robot is super cute, I wonder how it can be more distracting than it is, maybe it should be installed in the back with the kids as a baby sitter, kids would have a blast with it! Don’t miss this video!