The Lirec (LIving with robots and interactive companions) project, was an European funded (FP7 -215554) research project exploring how we live with digital and interactive companions. The LIREC project aimed at the creation of a new generation of interactive, emotionally intelligent companions that is capable of long-term relationships with humans. LIREC was a collaboration between 10 European partners, including six universities, two research institutes and two companies spread across 7 European countries. LIREC covers specialized areas ranging from psychology, ethology, human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, robotics and graphical characters.
The main challenge we faced in the LIREC project was: “how to build long-term relationships with artificial companions”?
That is, we explored how do we create a new computer technology that supports long-term relationships between humans and synthetic companions (robots).
In the LIREC project we explored two scenarios: the iCat chess player, where the iCat robot played chess with children, maintaining information about the child and learning to adapt itself to the preferences of a child as a long term process. The second scenario we developed in the LIREC project featured a social game companion (a robot) that played risk with several players.