Yesterday, 14 September 2016, Daphne Karreman from the UT successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Beyond R2D2: The design of nonverbal interaction behavior optimised for robot-specific morphologies“.
One of the members of the PhD graduation committee was unable to attend in person but participated via Skype.
During the party that evening – with a little help from her colleagues – Daphne took us on a guided tour down memory lane. Video-messages of congratulations went sent by the FROG partners.
For the project, an array microphone was temporarily fitted to the red FROG so that it could pick up questions asked by visitors to the museum. Due to the high noise levels they encountered the, otherwise successful, project used a Wizard-of-Oz set-up to answer questions. The results of the project will help in the further development of the R3D3 receptionist robot.
Although they are now all working on different projects, Randy and Jan keep in touch with Noé via Skype and Facebook and, sometimes, after office hours they still find time to work together on one of their favourite FROG robots.
Recently Jan and Randy fitted 2 extra lasers to cover some blind spots at the sides to FROG – this meant they had to make holes in the shell (shhh ….. nobody tell Paulo!).
The extra lasers allow protoFROG (aka the Campus Robot) to navigate better through spaces and some corners inside its new seasonal home, the DesignLab.
There, HMI Masters‘ students are using FROG as a platform for researching receptionist robots as part of the R3D3 project (part of the Dutch national COMMIT program).
FROG is going to make an appearance at the EAZA European Zoo Educators (EZE) Conference next week. Paulo is due to give a presentation on Wednesday, 11 March 2015, followed by a tour of the zoo guided by FROG.
Although the FROG project has officially ended the team members are still very much in touch via other projects and new proposals.
Noé is in Amsterdam working on the TERESA project – but before going to France for a TERESA integration meeting he found time to prepare the location and navigation map of the Lisbon Zoo for the simulator.
Randy – who defended his thesis on Behavior Change systems last week – and Jan – who has started to tackle his Master’s project – have been running the simulated tour on the red FROG here in Twente. On Sunday, Randy will travel to Lisbon to join up with the IDMind team and Luis and Fernando from UPO who travelled on Friday.
Green FROG is back in Lisbon after a stay in Seville. Carlos and his team have given the robot a full check-up so that he is ready for the conference.
Now let’s hope the weather will be as good as the forecast so that FROG can show off to the crowds – I think I am right in saying this is the first time FROG has been to the zoo with an outer shell!
On the 20 November 2014, the FROG project held its Final Review. FROG is leaving the Royal Alcázar for now but hopes to be invited back. The robot will stay in Seville till the end of 2014.
UPO has been invited to present FROG at FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair, at the end of January 2015.
After that the robot will go to Lisbon to prepare for a presentation and demonstration tour during the European Zoo Educators (EZE) Conference from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), hosted by the Lisbon Zoo in March 2015.
After finalising the reports, next week, the FROG Consortium as such will end its being. We will continue to post news, about the green FROG and the red FROG, here.
The researchers will continue their work in other projects, for instance, FROG partners are already involved in TERESA, SQUIRREL, EASEL, MOnarCH and others.
But for now: So long, everyone! And special thanks to Luis, Rafael and Paulo for introducing us to some of the best little restaurants in Seville and Lisbon – the fish was especially good!