[In Progress] Veebo Companion Robot

Full research journal on this project can be found at: https://nilamunrvl.wordpress.com/journal-entry/

Today’s technology allows machines to communicate with humans. We depend on them to communicate, navigate, keep track of our daily lives, and even as companions. Humans and machines share emotional relationships that most of us do not like to address. Veebo is a robot that will empathize and accompany you when you are feeling anxious. Can this interaction elicits human empathy towards machines?

The overarching theme of this work is the emotional relationships between humans and robots. Working with wood as material, I aim to close the gap of unfamiliarity between the audience and the idea of robots as beings.


Initial ideation and notes

Collecting biofeedback through heartbeat pulse sensor

Veebo is equipped with a heartbeat sensor that could detect your BPM. With this live biofeedback, Veebo is able to project multiple outputs in

response to the pace of your heartbeat.

Depending on your BPM, Veebo could detect if you’re nervous or anxious. Based on that decision, it will produce multiple outputs that will show how it empathizes with you.

One of it being mimicing human breathing mechanism.

Prototyping breathing mechanism

Through my academic research I learned that people show sympathy and empathy to things that they could relate to, therefore they anthromorphized non-living objects around them before they could have any emotional reaction to them.

I looked up on other projects that have been done before around the same  topic to see what kind of approaches people have taken.

Other projects tend to project anthromosphism towards their objects. from by having a smiley face on it, reacting by breathing, vibrating, blinking, etc. All of those are qualities that us living beings posses.

Listening to someone else’s heartbeat and breathing is calming. I proceeded through the project by researching human’s and animals’ average heartbeat per minute and respiratory rate. following table is the average result of that data I gathered by going outside and checking people and pets around me. Gathered a survey whose heartbeats and breathings are more calming to listen to.

The result of the survey said that people are more comfortable listening to another human’s heartbeat and breathing, followed by cat’s.

I proceed to translate those rates into the voltage required for the motor to mimic those breathing pattern.

And modeled the gear that mimic human diagraphm movements when we breathe.

documentation of failed prototype:

Prototyping the body

Basing off the drawing,  first I prototyped the body of Veebo with foam.

Once everything fits together, I fabricated the body with wood.

Combining body prototype and breathing mechanism (without biofeedback)

In progress presentation

To be continued.