Virtual Assistance Bot
McDSL needed a bot to provide assistance to people inside of their human behaviour experiments using virtual reality. The researchers didn't want to disrupt the experiment by intervening themselves. So we needed to build them a proof-of-concept VR assistance bot that waits and listens for help and then offers appropriate advice.
Using Unity, we were able to successfully build and demonstrate a functioning proof-of-concept for McDSL of a voice-actived and configurbale virtual assistance bot.
Below are some video examples of the bot responding to vocal help requests. You can unmute them to hear the bot do its thing.
Tracking & Helping
The virtual assistance bot watches you and listens to your words and actions. It catches when you ask a question or for help and then responds with helpful directions. The prompts it listens for and the responses it gives are predefined by the researchers. As well, the user's actions are tracked for analytics on the experiment.
"Click for help!"
Out of the Way
It's important the bot doesn't interfere with the experiment itself and only provide approved help to appropriate requests. That's why the bot stays out of the way of the experiment while remaining nearby at all times. This allows the researchers to continue observing and not have to pause the experiment themselves to offer help.