AIBO Aware

Read the paper !

JAMES E. YOUNG, Gregor McEwan, Saul Greenberg and Ehud Sharlin. Moving a Media Space into the RealWorld through Group–Robot Interaction. In video session and in adjunct proceedings

of the 5th International Conference on Pervasive Computing, 2007. Pervasive ’07, Toronto, Canada,May 13–15. Video 1:50, paper 4 pages.

System Screenshot

Full quality video: .

AIBO Aware is a media item for the groupware tool Community Bar that expands on the Community Bar's design philosophy of increasing awareness in distributed or co-located groups. Using a Sony AIBO robot dog, AIBO Aware offers a collaborative and public interface which not only displays the status of the AIBO including a live video feed, but allows users to remotely control the AIBO, walking around and looking at whatever interests them.

Table of Contents

Download and Installation - Source

'NOTE:' The AIBO IP address and port information is statically compiled into the media item dll file. To be able to run your own AIBO Aware item which connects to your own AIBO, you must download the source and configure it for your particular setup. If you simply want to have the media item to interact with other people's AIBO, then the precompiled dll will be sufficient.

Source: (to create your own AIBO Aware item)

Precompiled: (to interact with somebody else's AIBO Aware item)

Source code installation and configuration

The source code package included includes both the source for the AIBO Aware media item and the source for the 'Media Item Test Environment', a C# environment where Community Bar media items can be reliably and safely developed and tested. After downloading the source, unzip it into its own folder and open the MediaItemTester.sln Visual Studios solution file. Within this solution, the AIBO Aware media item is the ItemTemplate project.

Configuration and Installation:

  • the file ItemTemplate.cs contains all the global configuration variables
  • In particular, note the cameraPort, commandPort, walkPort, and ip variables. These may need to be changed to get the software working.
  • The DLL file is located in the projects bin/Debug/items/ folder and is called ItemTemplate.dll. Once this file is located, follow the dll installation instructions.

Dll installation and configuration

Ths dll file is precompiled and ready to install. This file must be installed on ALL machines that wish to be involved in the media item.


  • On each machine that will use the item, copy the AIBOAware.dll file to the Community Bar's 'Item' folder.
    • The standard install location puts this at \Program Files\Community Bar\iitems.
  • To start the media item, select it from the media item list for the particular place (see figure);

Overview of Control

The AIBO Aware media item is an awareness tool for distributed groups, offering a collaborative interface that allows multiple people to simultaneously control the AIBO. The three views of the control, tile, tooltip grande and separate, offer varying levels of control and awareness information.

The tooltip grande allows for real-time control of the AIBO, increasing awareness by enabling users to explore a space and to dynamically select their viewpoint. In addition to this, the separate view of the media item offers a mechanism to deliver audio notifications directly within the physical world; at the push of a button, a user can command the AIBO to emit any one of the available audio notifications.


Main Tile

  • The media item provides a full speed live video stream from the AIBO
  • The tile provides four levels of awareness, each level having its own properties
  • The 'In Use' check box gives users awareness of the AIBOs activity level; this is checked if someone is currently controlling the AIBO.

Expanded Tooltip Grande

  • Provides a full size live video stream from the AIBO
  • Provides real-time control of the AIBO:
    • Clicking on the video region controls which direction the AIBO is looking
    • Dragging the miniature AIBO around its box makes the AIBO walk and turn in the associated direction
    • The 'Neck' trackbar controls the height of the AIBO neck.

Separate Window View

  • Full size Walking control
  • All control functions of the Tooltip Grande
  • Real-World Notifications
    • Bark, Howl, Whine, and Growl
    • Real-time events, AIBO makes noise immediately