AIDA – Affective Intelligent Driving Agent

AIDA is part of the Sociable Car – Senseable Cities project which was a collaboration between the Audi Electronic Research Lab, the Personal Robots Group and the Senseable Cities Group at MIT. The AIDA robot was designed and built by the Personal Robots Group, while the Senseable Cities Group is working on intelligent navigation algorithms.

AIDA robot in dash

AIDA in dash

The aim of the Personal Robot’s portion of the project is to expand the relationship between the car and the driver with the goal of making the driving experience more effective, safer, and more enjoyable. As part of this expanded relationship, we plan to introduce a new channel of communication between automobile and driver/passengers. This channel would be modeled on fundamental aspects of human social interaction including the ability to express and perceive affective/emotional state and key social behaviors. In pursuit of these aims we have developed the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA), a novel in-car interface capable of communicating with the cars occupants using both physical movement and a high resolution display. This interface is a research platform, which can be used as a tool for evaluating various topics in the area of social human-automobile interaction. Ultimately, the research conducted using the AIDA platform should lead to the development of new kinds of automobile interfaces, and an evolution in the relationship between car and driver.




Currently the AIDA research platform consists of a fully functional robotic prototype embedded in a stand-alone automobile dash. The robot has a video camera for face and emotion recognition, touch sensing, and an embedded laser projector inside of the head. Currently a driving simulator is being developed around the AIDA research platform in order to explore this new field of social human-automobile interaction. Our intention is that a future interface based on the current research will be installed into a functioning test vehicle.

This work was the subject of my post-graduate research at the MIT Media Lab, Personal Robots Group.

In collaboration with Audi Electronics Research Lab and Senseable City Lab, MIT.

To view a comprehensive document covering this project click here.

Early concept animations:


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