Project Overview

HAPPILEE is a collaboration between interaction design studio PAN, creative technologist David Haylock and the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford.

The objective is to use play and narrative in public space as a way of exploring emotional engagement between humans and machines - specifically to instil empathy in participants towards a robot in their care.

The project will culminate in a series of game sessions in public spaces - indoors and outside. Within the arrative of the game, the “HAPPILEE” robot (“High Aggregate Peer-to-Peer In-Location Empathy Emulator”) has been broken and abandoned and must be carried to safety through invisibles mazes of harmful “data hotspots”. Players must use emotional cues given by the robot to detect the boundaries of these harmful spaces. 

The game is made possible through high-accuracy localisation technologies pioneered by the Sensor Networks Group at Oxford, using low-frequency magnetic fields to track positions. David Haylock is building a game engine on top of the system, which controls the game state and randomly generates maps based upon given variables - including the number of mobile devices present. PAN Studio are developing the narrative and game mechanics, as well as the robot’s form and interactive elements. 

Further details about the HAPPILEE event can be viewed in our project film here: http://wshd.to/happileefilm