Affective Tigger


The Affective Tigger is a plush toy designed to recognize and react to certain emotinal behaviors of its playmate. For example the toy enters a state of "happy," moving its ears upward and emitting a happy vocalization when it recognizes that the child has postured the toy upright and is bouncing it along the floor. Tigger has five such states, involving recognizing and responding with an emotional behavior. The resulting behavior Tigger demonstrates allows it to serve as an affective mirror for the child's expression. This work involved designing the toy, and evaluating sessions of play with it with dozens of kids. The toy was shown to successfully communicate some aspects of emotion, and to prompt behaviors that are interesting to researchers trying to learn about the development of human emotional skills such as empathy.