Friday, February 03, 2006

Newest Lab Member a Robot

At Indiana, my doctoral committee members could not have been more generous with their time or their resources. This is a model that I am attempting to duplicate here at Ohio State.

One of the graduate students in my lab, Tim Laubacher, is interested in the relationship between experienced presence and physiology. To really get at this, however, Tim needs to compare responses during mediated and non-mediated versions of the same stimulus.

This is actually quite difficult. If we use a human actor, there are likely to be all kinds of variations (e.g., the human is in a bad mood that day), so Tim has seized upon using a robot -- an idea borrowed from Indiana alumnus Kevin Wise (assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism).

Since neither Tim nor I have the time or the expertise to build a robot, we are forced to pick one off the shelf. Enter the Robosapien V2. Tim and I took a field trip to Best Buy yesterday to "pre-test" the Robosapien. It passed the test, and it should now be on order. This robot will soon be joining the Communication & Cognition lab. At the least, it should be entertaining.


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