Navigation : EXPO21XX > AUTOMATION 21XX > H06: Industrial Research > RoboThespian
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  • Offer Profile
  • Robots are coming to life! Our technological creations can tell jokes, stories, dance, sing and interact like never before. The robots at Engineered Arts are actors and performers; they inform and interact; they are research tools with personality. Versatile, humanistic, and elegant, our robots are designed with your needs in mind, whether that be entertainment, information delivery or academic research.
Product Portfolio
  • Engineered Arts


    • Our products have been installed in science centres and exhibition halls worldwide, transfixing visitors with their expressive storytelling abillities. Whether you want robots to inspire, promote or perform, Engineered Arts has a solution to suit your needs. The original robotic actor, RoboThespian is a state-of-the-art humanoid robot. With versatile limb movements, fully articulated hands and a mobile and dynamic face, RoboThespian brings your ideas to life. Our kiosk-style installation, SociBot, is suitable for a smaller footprint and more personalised touch. SociBot has all the intelligence of RoboThespian compressed into a head-and-torso package, allowing closer access and a more intimate experience.

    • All our robots are designed be flexible and adaptable. But you don't have to add or change anything until you are ready - switch them on and they're ready to go! Standard touch screen installation includes a library of set piece performances, a 'live' mode for direct, immediate control of the robots actions and expressions, and a compose mode which allows the user to assemble dialogue and action to create a pre-recorded performance. The list of RoboThespian™ user pages is growing continually. As new interactive scenarios, games and content become available, they can be added to compatible models free of charge.

    • RoboThespian is not just an entertaining science centre exhibit, it is also a robust platform for research. The hardware and software are well-structured and easily extended. Engineered Arts Ltd design to board level; we have innovative and unique control algorithms for pneumatic control bespoke valve and motor drive implementations, and a powerful object orientated back end that ties all the hardware and software together in a systematic and structured way. Potential research areas included non verbal and verbal communication, human-robot interaction, object tracking and recognition, cross modal processing for input stimuli and many other possibilities.
  • RoboThespian

  • RoboThespian is a life sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction in a public environment. It is fully interactive, multilingual, and user-friendly, making it a perfect device with which to communicate and entertain.

    Now in its third generation, with more than six years of continuous development, RoboThespian is a tried-and-tested platform, trusted by national science centres, visitor attractions, commercial users and academic research institutions around the world.

    Flexible, functional and expandable, RoboThespian can be adapted and customized to meet your needs.

    Modern life is defined by humanity's love-hate relationship with its own technological creations. It's in our nature to see life, personality and intention where none exists. RoboThespian™ exploits this desire; it is an anthropomorphic machine, a dot on the graph that starts with automata, and will end when we are no longer able to distinguish the living from the mechanised.

    RoboThespian™ combines the appeal of a sophisticated entertainment package with the capabilities of a versatile research platform. It comes with standard content, like greetings and impressions, to which you can add your own recorded sequences or bespoke content. With a web based interface files controlling movement, sound and video can be simply uploaded. RoboThespian™ was designed from the outset as a flexible communication medium. Our team at Engineered Arts can work with you to produce a robotic partner for your research, entertainment or communication needs.
  • How it works

  • RoboThespian comes with an interactive touch-screen interface designed for casual users, like visitors to an attraction or guests in your company’s lobby. It’s very user-friendly and available in many different languages. It’s fast, responsive and stable, and it handles users who are determined to test RoboThespian to the extreme. RoboThespian features a choice of Text-to-Speech engines, covering most languages and dialects in male and female voices.
    • The Library Screen

    • Large buttons with graphic icons, a quick way for your visitors to start a pre set robot routine, for example, a song, a story, or a message specific to your venue.
    • The Live Screen

    • Let your visitors take direct control of RoboThespian. Change his expression and what he’s looking at – see the view from his head mounted camera and play short audio clips such as greetings and questions.
    • Compose Screen

    • Simply drag gesture and expression icons to the time line to create quick effective robot routines – add audio from clips or type the text you want to hear. Ideal to make an announcement, promote a special event or to greet a VIP guest.
    • Versatile

    • The touch-screen interface can run in most popular web browsers, so it can be remotely operated from any desktop PC, Laptop or tablet with Adobe Flash support. This means you can see RoboThespian’s camera view and make him move and talk from another room or even another country.
      • Expandable

      • Add advanced features to your RoboThespian to further enhance your visitor’s experience. Choose from applications such as telepresence, movement tracking and voice interaction. Customise RoboThespian with a choice of coloured LED body lighting. Add new content or customise the touch-screen display to suit your venue.

  • The Theatre of Robots is a live stage show with real robots; unique, compelling and entertaining. Multiple full size humanoid robots take to the stage to tell a story in a way that you have never seen before. Incorporating dramatic lighting, video projection and multi channel sound - it is a fascinating, immersive show.

    The Theatre of Robots is provided complete and ready to run. The standard assembly includes:
    3 RoboThespians, Stage, Integrated control system, Lighting and Projector Rig, Speakers, 1 pre-prepared show, Setting up, Training, Online support

    And that's all! The act is ready to go - it requires only a stage, power and air supplies, an internet connection and of course, an audience.

    What are the applications?
    Explore science ethics, science history or the possibilities for the future, Theatre of Robots is an engaging way to communicate concepts, ideas or factual information.

    Can the content be changed?
    The animatronics, projected images and sound are all controlled from one integrated system, therefore changing the programe for a different show is as straightforward as possible.
  • Virtual RoboThespian

  • Virtual RoboThespian is a new development from Engineered Arts. Running on HTML5 with WebGL, this web-enabled software will run in a browser, requiring no installation, and is cross-system compatible.
    • Virtual Robothespian will accurately imitate the real Robothespian hardware. This innovation gives anyone, anywhere, the ability to create and store routines for RoboThespian to perform. On the Engineered Arts website, you can generate a personalised QR code, which can be shown to a real robot to retrieve your personalised routine.
  • SociBot: The Social Interactive robot

    • SociBot

    • The small footprint and integrated nature of SociBot make it an ideal installation for places where a full-sized humanoid robot would be obtrusive or unwieldy. It can deliver interactive content, unattended, in any public area, safely and humorously. Launched at CeBIT IT fair in Germany in 2012, SociBot is developed specifically for sophisticated interaction with groups of people.

      SociBot is designed for shopping centres, theme parks, airports, tourist information centres, science centers, and anywhere requiring personalised content delivered with a human touch. It also makes an ideal telepresence device, its human-like expressiveness conveying even subtle mood and tone while the fully integrated sensory array makes you feel like you're in the room, no matter the distance.

      • Smooth and versatile facial animations generated in real time.
      • Voice recognition.
      • Speech synthesis in more than twenty languages.
      • Simple gesture recognition and person tracking.
      • Simple browser based programming interface.
      • All electric design for simple installation.
      • Optional RFID tags to identify users by name.
      The power of SociBot lies in the seamless integration of ground-breaking key technologies:
      • Facial Projection

      • To be social you need to be expressive. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and every face paints a picture. Fully integrated LED pico projection technology with custom developed optics means that SociBot's face is dynamic, easily-customisable and versatile. The LED light source will run for up to 3 years without servicing. Parametrically driven expressions transform SociBot's face to suit his mood, or reflect the expressions of people looking at him.
      • SHORE

      • SociBot integrates SHORE, an image processing software suite developed by Fraunhofer IIS. SHORE is able to find and track faces, accurately estimate gender and provide a good estimate of a persons age. It can also recognise facial features and expressions. These abilities are used to bring SociBot to life. SociBot will make eye contact without prompting, attend to different speakers based on their body language, and will know how to address the person in view based on an age/gender estimate. Expression recognition allows a versatile and customizable audience experience.
      • Integrated IR Depth Sensor

      • Using the OpenNI frame work the infra depth sensor compliments the facial data available from the SHORE module. Socibot can track the position of more than 12 people at a time, and it rarely confuses one person with another even when they are standing close together or moving in a crowd. It can also detect gestures like hand waves and body poses.
    • Web Connected, Database Connected

    • SociBot can retrieve product data and provide information for customers. Unique QR codes can provide specific information for individuals. SociBot will also act as a tele-presence device - use SociBot as your remote avatar, to speak, look and listen.
    • Remote Programming, Diagnostics

    • SociBot is a web connected device - which means you can create and upload content remotely. Performance and technical issues can be diagnosed and often resolved without costly site visits.
  • Research

    • Our products offer a robust platform for research in all areas of robotics and human-robot interaction. RoboThespian™ is currently in use by universities in countries around the globe.

      Whether you're interested in software development, hardware integration or social interaction, our robots provide versatile, flexible authoring and demonstration platforms. Fully programmable, the pre-installed interface is simple to use for even novice programmers; we also offer full API access to academic institutions.

      With over 30 degrees of freedom in our standard RoboThespian design, a plethora of available sensory data, and embeded software incorporating text-to-speech synthesis in 20 languages, facial tracking and expression recognition, Engineered Arts can customize a robot to suit your plans and expectations. We also offer substantial discounts for institutions meeting our research criteria. Learn more about the research opportunities afforded by RoboThespian and SociBot using the menus above, or test-drive RoboThespian with the Virtual Robot software package.
    • interaction

    • obots and humans sharing a space must interact on many levels, both physical and cognitive. Naturalistic movement, responsive faces and sympathetic personalities make our robots ideal for forging new advances in human-robot interaction.
    • telepresence

    • Telepresence devices are becoming ever more ubiquitous, yet most limit you to a passive observer, with little autonomy or interaction. RoboThespian and SociBot can inhabit an environment in a more human manner; it's the next best thing to being there.
    • actuators

    • ENG-ART builds robots designed primarily for human-robot interaction scenarios, so have extensive experience in producing safe, malleable designs. Since the actuators in the upper body are force controlled, they move with only sufficient power to achieve their demand position.
    • control

    • Thanks to parallel pneumatic-electric actuators, and a variety of on-board sensors, RoboThespian offers multi-level force and position feedback and control. This also endows the robot with non-linear, biologically-realistic motion.
    • software

    • Engineered Arts have developed an extensive software platform for RoboThespian. Its core component is IOServe. The robot's movements are sourced by sequence players, Flash applications, etc., and flow through IOServe as a stream of discrete position demands.