Interaction between Vleo and Pleo, a virtual social character and a social robot

In this work we have moved virtual characters from virtual environments to the physical world in order to explore their interaction possibilities with real objects. We explored the interaction of avatARs (see avatAR project) with intelligent physical objects as the Pleo social robot. Pleo is used to assist hospitalized children in therapy or simply for entertainment. Despite its benefits, there is a lack of emotional relationship and interaction between children and Pleo that eventually makes children lose interest. Thus, we have created a mixed reality scenario where Vleo (avatAR as Pleo, virtual element) and Pleo (real element) interact naturally. This scenario has been tested and the results concluded that avatARs enhance the motivation to play with Pleo, and thus opening a new horizon in the interaction of virtual characters with the real world.