Project

Tega: A New Platform for Socially Assistive Robotics

Tega is a new robot platform designed to support long-term, in-home interactions with children, with applications in early-literacy education from vocabulary to storytelling.

Tega is a new robot platform designed to support long-term, in-home interactions with children, with applications in early-literacy education from vocabulary to storytelling.

Research Topics
#robotics #kids #social robotics

The robot is a part of a line of Android-based robots that leverages the smart phone to not only graphically display animated eyes, but also for its computation, which includes behavioral control, sensor processing, and motor control. Its expressive joints are combinatorial and consist of five basic DoFs: head up/down, waist-tilt left/right, waist-lean forward/back, full-body up/down, and full-body left/right. Tega is designed for robust actuator movements such that the robot can express consistent behaviors over long periods of time. The foundation of its kinematic chain is based on a lead-screw design that enables the robot to rapidly and reliably exercise its primary squash-and-stretch joint. To withstand long-term continual use, we have designed an efficient battery-powered system that can run for up to six hours before needing charge. Tega extends the phone’s abilities with on-board speakers and an additional high-definition camera that has a wide field of view of the scene and users. Aesthetically, the robot is small-sized, brightly colored, and with a furry exterior to appeal to young children.