LevPet: A Magnetic Levitating Pet

Link to the paper: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3549865.3549897

LevPet combines affective computing and magnetic levitation to create an artificial levitating pet with affective responses and novel ways of moving to express emotions. Our interactive pet can recognise the user’s emotional status using computer vision, and respond to it with a low-level empathy system based on mirroring behaviour. For example, if you approach it with a happy face, the pet will greet you and move in a nimble way. A repulsive magnetic levitator is attached to a mechanical stage controlled by a computer system. On top of it, there is the pet playground, where a house, a ping-pong ball,a xylophone and other accessories are placed. Two cameras allow to capture the user’s face and the objects placed on the playground, so that the pet can interact with them. LevPet is an exploration of how to communicate internal state with only a levitating sphere; it is a platform for experimentation and an interactive demo that brings together an outer-worldly levitating metallic sphere with familiar things like emotions and a playground made of traditional items.