Behavior Software
The high-level behavior of the robot is controlled by a system developed by the Synthetic Characters group at the MIT Media Lab. This system has been used to create graphical creatures that interact with and learn from people. We adapted it to the task of controlling a robot for this project, and used the animation capabilities as a simulator.

The motions of the anemone are based on handcrafted animations to give it a natural and expressive quality of movement. See movie.

The behavior engine blends and layers these animations to make the movement of the robot appropriate for the situation at hand. For example, the system blends together several animations of the anemone posed in different orientations to enable it to direct its attention to a particular person's face. In the movie, these animations are blended to track the animated hands as a person controls them using a joystick.