Carnegie Mellon University
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This project is no longer active.
Head: Greg Armstrong
Contact: Reid Simmons
Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Associated lab(s) / group(s):
 Reliable Autonomous Systems Lab
Project Homepage
Vikia is the first step towards making robots more acceptable to people.

She has been given a realistic personality, including her own personal history as the first robotic student at Carnegie Mellon University.

She is a robot with a complex and engaging personality, designed for easy and enjoyable communication. This is made possible through high quality speech and visual recognition, a realistic, developing personality and rich, friendly dialogue and appearance.

The robot has a flat-screen monitor which is used to display an animated computer graphics model of a female face. This face lip-syncs any dialogue that the robot says using text-to-speech software and can be programmed to exhibit a variety of facial expressions.

While VIKIA is no longer actively participating in experiments, her hardware and software design are the basis of the GRACE and Valerie projects. These more recent projects build on VIKIA's social abilities to create social robots that are able to attend the AAAI conference and interact with people (GRACE) and function as a receptionist at Carnegie Mellon (Valerie).