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Article summary

Gary is present, moving, and responding. Our brain easily perceives objects like that as “living” things. Such objects can influence us greatly and even arouse emotional attachments.
Gary is not a social robot or companion by definition, and we need to be aware of Gary’s influence on its environment. The interactions between the user and Gary should be appropriate and well planned.

In this overview, you will find information about the goals of Gary’s interaction design, Gary’s outputs, interaction principles, and design system.

Why do we need interactions at all?

  1. Give the users tools to understand Gary in an intuitive way
  2. Convey messages and motivating an action
  3. In order for Gary’s presence to be pleasant
  4. Giving Gary an independent presence, an ability to communicate directly with the user

Since Gary is still learning how to talk, for now, the main way to interact with him is via light indications. We chose light as the dominant way of communication because it has a wide range of combinations (shades, intensities, rhythms, colors) that enables us to design a robust language around it.
In addition, Gary uses sounds, a screen display, and the mobile app to provide unlimited ways of interactions between the user and the robot.

Gary’s available outputs:

Gary's outputs

** Illustration - all the different ways Gary can communicate with the user**

Head LEDs
LED array located in the head area, designed to display "facial expressions". This is the most dominant element we see when facing Gary.
A built-in touch screen is located in Gary’s upper body. This screen allows Gary to display complex information, and allows the user to directly communicate with Gary.
Light ring
Ring LED-shaped array located around the button, under the screen. The light ring is used as a quick marker and indication of Gary’s condition.
Floor lights
These lights are “signal lights” indicating to the user Gary'sdirection of motion. These lights illuminate the floor in four possible directions.
Finger sensors LEDs
Gary offers three finger sensors, each accompanied with a small light above it to make it easier for the user to know which is which.
speakers are located in the back of Gary’s head and are used for subtle audio indications.

  • Smartphone app
    The user’s smartphone acts as a remote control for Gary. It is the main way for the user to select tasks for Gary to perform. The app also displays messages and notifications from Gary.

What's Next?
We highly recommend you to read the Interactions Principles section. It will provide you all the knowledge of how interactions were planned and what is the best way to use them.

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