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The Personal Rover Project The Comprehensive Design of a Domestic Personal Robot Emily Falcone Rachel Gockley Eric Porter Illah Nourbakhsh The Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA 15213 Abstract In this paper we summarize an approach for the dissemination of robotics technologies In a manner analogous to the personal computer movement of the early 1980 s we propose that a productive niche for robotic technologies is as a long term creative outlet for human expression and discovery To this end this paper describes our ongoing efforts to design prototype and test a low cost highly competent personal rover for the domestic environment Introduction Robotics occupies a special place in the arena of interactive technologies because it combines sophisticated computation with rich sensory input in a physical embodiment that can exhibit tangible and expressive behavior in the physical world In this regard a central question that occupies our research group pertains to the social niche of robotic artifacts in the company of the robotically uninitiated public at large What is an appropriate first role for intelligent human robot interaction in the daily human environment The time is ripe to address this question Robotic technologies are now sufficiently mature to enable interactive competent robot artifacts to be created 4 10 18 22 The study of human robot interaction while fruitful in recent years shows great variation both in the duration of interaction and the roles played by human and robot participants In cases where the human caregiver provides short term nurturing interaction to a robot research has demonstrated the development of effective social relationships 5 12 Anthropomorphic robot design can help prime such interaction experiments by providing immediately comprehensible social cues for the human subjects In contrast our interest lies in long term human robot relationships where a transient suspension of disbelief will prove less relevant

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