We are now sure of what’s happening with the ‘bots so can go ahead and plan them with the help of Ale in IRLT. We’re having to strip back to basics because we have a strict budget but we’re happy with that – this is a pilot exercise so we’re looking to experiment rather than fully implement. Certainly the school student feedback suggests that this is the way to go.

The plan is to have 3 categories of robot avatar:

1. The welcome ‘bot. This female bot, in Victorian dress, will stand still at the entrance of the house but is programmed to turn to face new visitors and to give them information about the HUD and how to use it. She will do this by asking suggestions and offering visitors a series of responses so they can get the information they want.

2. The tourist ‘bots: these 2 Victorian characters, Alva and Isaac, will move on a predetermined route around the atrium of the house, pausing at 6 or so ‘hotspots’ where they will inspect a painting or a room. At these points they will speak to ecah other, either reading from the guidebook or passing comment on what they see. The point of these ‘bots is to ensure ongoing population of the mdoel and to help the visitor orientate himself – giving clues as to what should be looked at and demonstrating some Victorian responses to the site.

3. Roman character ‘bots: Claudia, a young Roman girl and Acheron, a rather ominous sounding slave cook will occupy the rear part of the house. They are divided from the Victorian characters in this way to reflect the idea of travelling into the past as the visitor gets deeper into the house experience. These ‘bots are also designed for the intended learning activities: visitors will be able to ask them questions and the ‘bots will have a variety of subjects they can talk about to help children find out more about Roman life.


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