Animating a surfacebot to play-act short stories

Title:Animating a surfacebot to play-act short stories
Institute:University of Twente (HMI)
Place:Enschede The Netherlands
Type:final project
Start date:1 oktober 2016
End date:not present
HMI ContactAlejandro Catala Bolos


Generating advanced narratives is a primary task carried out in digital storytelling systems [1]. In addition, when we want to render the short story graphically, its representation depends on the combination of the visual elements, characters’ morphology and the non-verbal behavior that the character can exhibit. There are some general behavior realizers that help to this purpose [2], but they are typically limited to the virtual world and specifically designed for virtual humans [3].
However, in the context of a broader research project at the HMI group [4], we are building a surfacebot, which is a simple artificial agent-robot capable of physically moving on a tabletop. In this research topic, we want it to be able to play-act a given short story to the spectators/children, by combining visual animations with physical behavior and movement. This final project assignment will therefore deal with the design, implementation and evaluation of a character animation system specific for a surfacebot. The student will have the opportunity to contribute with his/her own ideas to the outcome and development of the related research project.

[1] Hoek, M.; Theune, M.; and Linssen, J. 2014. Generating game narratives with focalization and flashbacks. In Proceedings of the AIIDE 2014 Workshop on Games and Natural Language Processing, 9–14. AAAI Press.
[2] Dennis Reidsma, Herwin van Welbergen: Elckerlyc in Practice - On the Integration of a BML Realizer in Real Applications. INTETAIN 2011: 83-92
[3] Ari Shapiro. 2011. Building a character animation system. In Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Motion in Games (MIG'11), Jan M. Allbeck and Petros Faloutsos (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 98-109.
[4] cobotnity project: