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Designing new robotic companions.

November 2010



Moanbot is a small intelligent English robot that moans according to the changes in his immediate environment. Just like the rest of us.

Often described as the "the study and design of intelligent agents, where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximize its chances of success" the world of Artificial Intelligence is often the remit of academics or science fiction writers. What defines an intelligent system is often an awareness of their surroundings and a sense of timing.

We designed Moanbot to show that designing these types of systems can be accessible. Moanbot’s intelligence and personality is supported by a electronics platform (Arduino), a few basic sensors (sound, light, temperature, accelerometer) and some very clever quips from an Englishman.

Moanbot complains when changes in temperature, light levels and sound occur around him. When he is picked up, he will say something clever and during the day will speak his mind as well.

A simpler version was launched as part of the onedotzero-adventures in motion 2010 festival at the BFI on November 13th 2010.

Open source code for Moanbot available here

Chris Elsmore (assembly support)
Graham Culverhouse (voice)
Tom Lynch (research)