On the design of the huggable robot Probo

Jelle Saldien, Kristof Goris, Selma Yilmazyildiz, Werner Verhelst, Dirk Lefeber


Nowadays robots are being created that interact with human beings in order to satisfy certain social needs. Following this trend, the development of the social robot Probo has started. The robot will be used in hospitals, as a tele-interface for entertainment, communication and medical assistance. Therefore, it requires the ability to express emotions. In order to do so, an emotional interface is developed to fully configure the display of emotions. These emotions -represented as a vector in an emotion space- are mapped to the degrees of freedom used in the robot. Besides emotions, the interface includes a control for the point of attention and a module to create and store animations. A 3D virtual model is created, acting as a virtual replica of the robot, providing realistic visual feedback to evaluate the design choices for the facial expressions. This paper presents the objectives of this new robot and describe the concepts and design of the first prototype.


Human robot interaction; Robot assisted therapy; Robot design

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/JoPha.2008.2.2.02