Media Lab



Monkey business

Monkey business furthers the Speech Interface Group's work with animatronic agents, as seen earlier with the Cellular Squirrel made by Stefan Marti. We plan to create a peer-to-peer network of animatronic monkeys that act as audio-enabled agents, keeping members of a distributed group of people informed about each other’s current state and level of availability. We can also use the animatronic monkeys as media to which we can send “behavior messages” from cell phones; the monkeys, upon receiving these messages, will move and make sounds in such a way to indicate certain emotions or behaviors.



Common sense is knowledge that we tend to take for granted. However, there are individuals for whom this general knowledge is incomprehensible. Autistic individuals for example, generally lack emotional and social common sense; they have difficulties recognizing suitable responses in emotional situations, as well as the emotions of other individuals. In this project, we introduce an interactive software application for improving emotional awareness in these scenarios. Based on natural language commonsense knowledge, as stored in Open Mind Commonsense (OMCS), our application guides the users through everyday situations, and encourages them to reflect upon their emotions and behavior in order to improve their affect awareness and social skills.

MIT Media Lab: 2005/2006

This, my final year at KTH, was the year when I got the opportunity to carry out my final thesis project in the Speech Interface Group at the MIT Media Lab. The project focuses on using puppets as animatronic interfaces in order to support spontaneous and informal interaction between distributed co-workers.

Monkey Business Website


Papers and projects