Temi guides sTARTUp Day visitors

Temi guides sTARTUp Day visitors

If last year the semi-autonomous robot assistant TEMI showcased its skills in the Ülemiste City Öpik office building, pioneering the “house manager” role, TEMI commenced the year 2024 in a significantly larger and more crowded environment. On January 25th and 26th, sTARTUp Day took place, with TEMI navigating among 4,000 visitors and inviting them to explore the TalTech presentation area. Visitors followed TEMI with interest and were pleasantly surprised upon their arrival to the destination point, where they could communicate through TEMI with a real person located in Madrid.

During these two days, it became evident that TEMI is an adept guide and a polite communicator, but its place is certainly not in such a crowded event. TEMI is polite and uses its sensors to maintain a sufficient distance from people. Thus, in areas with high foot traffic, movement with TEMI was very slow. Although it had been taught how to politely ask for directions, in such a noisy environment, people couldn’t hear the answers.

Our research group aimed to determine how TEMI would perform in a real-world setting and whether people would be willing to interact with the robot at all. The findings aligned with expectations - TEMI requires more space to maneuver, the environment cannot be excessively noisy due to its poor hearing, and communication with another person through TEMI is also challenging. Nevertheless, there were still enough people interested in interacting with the robot. The participants also provided feedback on their experience, the results of which indicate that they felt positive about interacting with the robot.

On a positive note, when researchers from our group traversed the exhibition area with TEMI, it garnered significant attention from attendees. They approached to inquire about the robot’s capabilities, treating it akin to a cute pet or, at times, a stubborn teenager when TEMI decided to wander off on its own and disobey commands.

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About Creativity Matters

“Creativity Matters” is a reseach group in Tallinn University of Technology IT College. The areas of interest inculde hybrid learning, telepresence robots and teaching didactics