A new platform for research in 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 improves on its robot platform predecessor “DragonBot” with a robust and articulate mechanical structure and increased energy efficiency. Tega’s kinematic chain was designed from the ground up to embody a purpose-drawn animated character in order to achieve a uniquely appealing range of physical expression. In addition to a wireless camera, Tega takes advantage of mobile computing for central processing, controlling its physical motions and animated eyes, and audio input/output.

At PRG, we often begin the design of a robot in animated character form. This video shows the original animated inspiration for Tega, by Fardad Faridi.

This trailer shows the artists vision of Tega in use as a companion and educational consumer product.

Tega has 5 degrees of freedom, including the ability to expand and contract rapidly via lead screw between the torso and head. Tega’s powerful motors and robust design allow it to move quickly and expressively, or slowly and precisely.

A working rig in Maya which depicts the five degrees of freedom and a render of the robot in motion:

The first iteration of the mechanical system, designed in SolidWorks based on the Maya model:

Publications

  • Kory Westlund, J. M., Lee, J., Plummer, L., Faridia, F., Gray, J., Berlin, M., Quintus-Bosz, H., Harmann, R., Hess, M., Dyer, S., dos Santos, K., Adalgeirsson, S., Gordon, G., Spaulding, S., Martinez, M., Das, M., Archie, M., Jeong, S., & Breazeal, C. (2016). Tega: A Social Robot. In S. Sabanovic, A. Paiva, Y. Nagai, & C. Bartneck, Proceedings of the 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction: Video Presentations (pp. 561). IEEE.

Real-world ready social robot!