DREAM is an EC-funded project that will deliver the next generation robot-enhanced therapy (RET). It develops clinically relevant interactive capacities for social robots that can operate autonomously for limited periods under the supervision of a psychotherapist. DREAM will also provide policy guidelines to govern ethically compliant deployment of supervised autonomy RET. The core of the DREAM RET robot is its cognitive model which interprets sensory data (body movement and emotion appearance cues), uses these perceptions to assess the child’s behaviour by learning to map them to therapist-specific behavioural classes, and then learns to map these child behaviours to appropriate robot actions as specified by the therapists.*
I worked on this project as a research assistant between 2015-2019.
Briefly, the main challenges addressed by the DREAM project therefore are:
Child-robot interaction strategies: We focus on evidence-based therapies suitable for improving social interaction skills. The robot will assist the therapist in teaching the child social skills like turn-taking, imitation and joint attention.
Cognitive social behaviour for supervised autonomy: We will develop a new platform-independent cognitive controller based on the needs of human social interaction, exploiting the propensity of people to “fill in the gaps” in social interaction by generating behaviour that facilitates interpretation by ASD children.
Child-specific behaviour assessment: We will create a model that can track and quantify changes in child behaviour based on off-body sensory data as well as provide quantitative inter-individual comparisons to assist therapist in their tasks.
Multi-sensory data fusion and interpretation for diagnostic support: Multi-sensory data will be used to provide quantitative support for the diagnosis and care/treatment of ASD, replacing current labour intensive techniques involving paper and pencil, or manual video analysis.
Ethics of human-robot interaction: We will ensure that the technical design of the robot complies with existing ethical, social, and legal norms. We also address new ethical and legal issues raised by the particular kind of interaction that emerges in the interaction between children and autonomous robots in therapeutic contexts.
“Champagne rain, custard lightning, lakes of swan soup, forests of black forest gateaux.” The tasty morsels of food and drink you consume in the experience have been developed by Mark Garston and Chef Michele Stanco, both whom are former team members of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Group.
Freelance job working with Marshmallow Laser Feast to create a visualisation of the Ethereum network. The piece was displayed at the annual Blockchains developer conference, being displayed on two screens, an LED wall displayed behind a holographic scrim layer. The visualisation was developed as a representation of the network’s history, evolving and being manipulated by historic data across the various forks.
This piece was developed for a PhD student at Goldsmith’s, University of London. The student’s work revolves around looking at theory surrounding non-interactive procedural cinema. In the piece, she wanted to have a tiger (based on eighteenth-century automaton, Tipu’s Tiger) roaming through a forest scene. The tiger moves of its own free will, as does the camera following it.
So, not actually a game.. more like an interactive music video toy sorta thing.. This was my entry for the 2018 Global Game Jam. I worked by myself and created a sort of plaything that you can fiddle with while listening to this rad retro wave song I found online (Midnight Rider by Fazzio – https://fazzioretro.bandcamp.com/track/midnight-rider).
Wavelength is a casual ‘dot-to-dot zen’ game where players try to link as many coloured dots as possible before the timer runs out. The game has won a few small awards and received a bit of press coverage.
Another small project where I made a blend of the classic games Asteroids and Pong. I made it in openframeworks as an early attempt to learn the framework. Its just a silly little thing but it ended up being quite fun ?
A monitor or projected screen display the feed from a camera hidden belowit and directed towards the viewer. The feed cycles through several forms of distortion intended to convey a digitization of the viewer by the machine. Arobotic voice drones out the inner monologue of a computer consciousness asit tries to figure out the world around it. The monologue contains a narrativealluding to the machine’s arrogance and subtle disdain for the human race. Themachine however, is also lonely and seems to crave interaction with the audience.The piece is intended to highlight our projected anthropomorphisation ofmachines throughout modern era, but especially in the face of growing interestin artificial intelligence and virtual assistants.
A woman walks through the ruins of Angkor Wat, moving through several emotional conditions as she explores and accompanied by droning tones, drums and vocalisations. The footage is counter balanced with the image of a solitary flame and a line of ants busily migrating from one area to another.
The piece is expresses a fascination with ancient cultures and the artefacts left behind in their wake, but also speaks to the violence and turmoil associated with the eventual fall of human civilisations. As the woman explores the ruins, she seems out of place; however, really she is not, it is the place which is out of time.
Bonsai is the ancient Japanese practice of cultivating miniature trees and requires great patience and discipline. In this game, players are tasked with keeping a small tree alive, caring for it over a period of months or years and ultimately developing an intimate bond with the non-existent.
The genesis of the project is an observation on the “bigger, faster, better” mentality associated with procedural content generation. PCG systems rely on algorithmic methods to create vast amounts of content very quickly and are used in many computer games. The project seeks to take a counter perspective, asking whether there is value in a smaller and slower generative process. The ability to generate huge quantities of content also results in the content being quite disposable, a feature that the project also undermines. By slowing the generation of the tree down to take months or years, rather than minutes or seconds, results in a higher value ascribed to the artefact created. This is particularly true if the viewer has taken an active role in the process.
The contrast is highlighted in the game’s gifting feature where the cultivator of the tree can give it away to a friend. When the tree is gifted, the player no longer has access to the tree and must trust that the recipient will care for it and not let it die. This requires a degree of trust in the recipient on the part of the gifter, giving the object, otherwise meaningless, have an increased sentimental value. The issue is highlighted further by the dissonance in attachment to the tree between the gifter and recipient and whether the recipient is aware of how much effort and care has been put into cultivating the tree.