wOhm robotic pet companion

Magdalena Kogutowska, Sergi Bermudez i Badia, Ulysses Bernardet

wOhm is a robotic pet companion aimed to provide comfort to children. The pet leverages the "Tamagotchi effect", referring to how we anthropomorphize robots and become emotionally attached to our technological aides (c.f soldiers' robots, cars, computers, etc). The pet could potentially be deployed in a hospital scenario where it could be used for monitoring purposes. The child patient would be hooked up to the pet, rather than a large (and scary) machine. Collected data could be shared to a mobile phone which parents, doctors and the child could have easy access to for monitoring purposes. From the child’s perspective the robotic pet is presented as a friend who needs care: the pet needs to sleep at certain times, it needs to be fed and take its medicine. This responsibility could move the focus away from the child’s own situation, hopefully providing a setting where the child can feel more empowered and less alone.

wOhm consists of many parts: actuators to provide movement, pulse sensor attaced to a wristband, FSR and conductive thread to make wOhm “hug” sensitive, integrated heater/sensor to create a warm body, sound module to create the effect of a heart beat and for making sounds. The ability to communicate wirelessly to a mobile cell phone in order to provide vitals stats for parents/doctors and to provide a game for the child. wOhm is a prototype model and as such some aspects are still being worked out e.g. the power consumption issue.