Meet GiMi!

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GiMi is a robotic object designed in an abstract form that greets people in everyday life. It has two parts: a “dome” and a “small ball”; the ball moves on the dome’s surface.

As part of our research in the field of empathy, we create robotic devices that have very limited motion and yet generate expressive gestures. Our research focuses on the intersection between expression and movement. Specifically, our challenge is to generate expressive gestures via such a simple, abstract object. GiMi, our newest project attempts to take this vision one step further; we would like to study movement in its most ‘clean’ form. GiMi’s non-anthropomorphic appearance enables us to focus more on the study of expressive movement.

Our challenge is generate expressive gestures for GiMi. We aim to develop expressive, socially accepted gestures that convey a greeting experience.
In order to design the greeting gestures, we studied human-human greetings and proxemics in an extensive literature review. To further guide the process, we held a brainstorming session with a team of body language professionals. We are currently planning a gesture validation study in aim to evaluate people’s perceived expressions of the gestures.
Our vision is that GiMi will be used in daily contexts, for example – on one’s office desk, at the entrance to one’s home etc. We aim to show that GiMi can serve as a welcoming greeting device for people during their busy daily lives.

Written by Lucy Anderson, a third year student at International Communication school & research assistant at IDC MiLAB.

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