Erica’s Novel Noggin’: Brain Update

Welcome again to Erica the Rhino’s weekly blog post. We hope you found the ‘Mechatronics’ update insightful and it may well have even inspired you to recreate something similar at home.

This week we will be focusing on Erica’s brain and how the team are really allowing her personality to shine through! We spoke to Mike Jewell – a Research Fellow within the University’s ECS department- who is working on the Pitino project; developing mobile note-taking technology for Archaeologists.

Mike’s experience as a games developer is certainly exuded within Erica’s brain, and he really hopes to ensure that interactivity is a key aspect of this project. Erica’s brain is very clever indeed; she essentially has both short and long term memory. The short term memory enables her to react instantly to an action, whilst the long term memory recalls accumulated actions so that her mood and behaviour can change accordingly. For example, she may behave differently towards her first guest in the morning compared with another passer-by later in the day. This means that you are able to personally interact with her, making her happy by: tickling, feeding, petting… – the list goes on!

The team really wants to get people involved with the behavioural scripting of Erica. The scripts are very simple and people with virtually zero exposure to programming are able to contribute their ideas; helping to make Erica even more interactive! To hear more, check out the interview with Mike below!

Check back here next week to meet another member of the team, who will be sharing with us more development behind Erica’s eyes, including a working prototype – showing how Erica can follow your every movement; it really isn’t one to be missed!

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