Hallo I'm Tigger

Hallo I'm Tigger! See a bigger Tigger Picture

The Affective Tigger: a reactive expressive toy

The Affective Tigger is an endeavor to build a toy that responds to the user or playmate in a natural and meaningful manner. Specifically, the Affective Tigger recognizes and reacts to the emotion the child is exhibiting. For example, when the child is ``happily'' playing with the Affective Tigger, the child will move and hold him in a manner that expresses this happiness: she might bounce him along the floor, or hug and kiss him. The Affective Tigger senses this physical interaction, for example he might recognize that the child is bouncing him, and outwardly expresses his own happiness in turn. In this manner, the Affective Tigger is both mimicking the mood expressed by the child and reinforcing a behavior exhibited by the child, namely bouncing him.

An online video clip of the Affective Tigger for the Real Player G2.

The Affective Tigger reacts to the playmate with an outward display of emotion. In conjunction with other emotionally charged cues such as a drooping head, or the act of bouncing, Tigger's ears and his vocalizations provide a compelling outward sign of his emotional state.

See a bigger happy tigger
This is a happy Tigger. Notice how his ears are perked up and how he is holding his head high.

See a bigger sad Tigger
This is a sad Tigger. Notice the drooping ears and slouched posture.

Tigger's sensory system currently includes:

Tigger's voice is one of his most compelling attributes. The addition of auditory cues to the physical visual ones significantly heightens the effect of Tigger's mood swings. The Affective Tigger has 5 distinct emotional states with accompanying voclaizations:
ESCTATIC - Tigger's happy laugh .wav
HAPPY - "That's what Tiggers like best!"
NEUTRAL - no vocalization
SAD - Tigger's growl .wav
VERY SAD - "Stop that!"

The evaluation phase is the practical test portion of the experiment. The Affective Tigger's behavior is being tested in various situations, and evaluated for appropriateness. The success of this project includes both the quantitative evaluation of his success at recognizing intentional actions under laboratory conditions (can he differentiate an angry bounce vs. a playful one?), as well as the qualitative analysis of the appropriateness of his responses to children under normal play conditions are.

Acknowledgements and a Poem by Pooh
A Hearty Thanks to Edward Bear's original cast of friends.

Contact by e-mail zuul@media.mit.edu.
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