2017 Volume 25 Pages 352-360
In this paper, we propose a novel way to encourage visitors to share their experiences and interests in exhibition spaces. Visitors may have experiences in an exhibition and become aware of meanings of the exhibits and/or relationship among them. We believe that sharing the experiences of visitors will enhance the exhibition experience for subsequent visitors because shared experiences may include fascinating topics. To acquire experiences of the visitors, we used “PhotoChat,” which is an in-house photo communication software. PhotoChat is capable of communicating with others by taking photographs and adding annotations to each photograph. It also records the locations for coordination between the photographs and the statistical information contained in the annotations. Since PhotoChat is designed for realtime communication, in this study, we introduce a robot that inhabits the exhibition space. The robot is always on the PhotoChat and acquires all data on PhotoChat. The robot, thus, is capable to know what a visitor communicate with others on PhotoChat and to share them with subsequent visitors. The robot can also use bodily actions to express instructions to the visitors. We developed a system that integrates PhotoChat into a robot. We also implemented robot behavior (i.e., bodily actions and motions) that includes recommendations for photographs taken by others. That is, the robot communicates with human using both PhotoChat and its body. We held workshops to perform data collection and manually classified the data into three content categories. We then performed experiments using the developed system to distribute the classified content. The results showed that the robot's physical behaviors encouraged conversations between the visitors based on provided topics.