The WubWub senses bypassers with three "eyes". However, it is a bit short sighted, so it takes a good look at you first by leaning backwards. The egg-shape gives the robot a friendly appearance, but its movements are the key to give it a character. Think of the character of the Pixar lamp for example, it is also mainly created by its movements. The use of a face to give a robot character might be an obvious, but not necessarily the most effective solution. Robots are of mechanical origin and the use of kinematic expressions are not only coherent with this principle, but also interesting to design and develop!
My role in this project was to supervise the mechanical development of the robot. The eyes of the robot were three ping-sensors to look for proximity and a sense of direction of a passerby. A servo-controlled pendulum inside the belly of the robot causes it to wallow in a controlled direction. I programmed an Arduino to process the sensor-values, determine what's the situation and let the robot respond in a desired manner. Although the robot became a bit too heavy for the servos, we managed to make it work. It was presented in an exposition where visitors, including children, could play and interact with it. They noticed the joyful character of the Wub Wub right away.