Jaime Montemayor
Participatory Design  ||   Robots  ||   StoryRooms

I am now at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Senior Research Scientist
Research and Technology Development Center
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road, #2-244
Laurel, MD 20723-6099

jaime.montemayor at jhuapl dot edu

jaime now
From 1998 to 2003, my team and I worked with children from two age groups: 7-11 year old elementary school students and kindergarten students. Because our young designers showed great interest in storytelling, we developed some really cool technologies to support novel storytelling experiences, including an emotional storytelling robot and a physical interactive storytelling environment. Here  are some videos that describe who we are, what we do, and what we made.
The basis of our design methodology is cooperative inquiry, first developed by Allison and her team of adults and children designers. This CHI-1999 video (small, large) describes the methodology and how we used it to build our first storytelling technology for children. Although it is mostly about the robot PETS-2, this video (small, large) also contains some footage of our team at work. This video, by Larry Clamage, for Voice of America, shows us working on the International Children's Digital Libray and also on the StoryRoom.  
The PETS robot (Personal Electronic Teller of Stories) is a constructive storyteller. A child builds a furry animal by attaching facial parts, limbs, etc. onto a soft body. She can define "emotional" movements. She can also write stories that contain words such as HAPPY, SAD, LONELY. When PETS retells the story (using text-to-speech), it performs the movements attached to to the "emotional" keywords. This video (small, large) shows you how we used cooperative inquiry to design PETS-1. Here is a video (small, large) on the design of PETS-2. Here is a video (small, large) about Jesterbot, (PETS-3) a robot for therapeutic play.

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My most recent work on storytelling is the StoryRoom. Conceptually, a StoryRoom is a physical interactive environment that expresses a story. Children construct StoryRooms (in much the same as they create stories in other media) with tools and supplies found in a StoryKit. This kit contains construction material, story starters, physical icons and tools, and programming technology.

This video (small , large) describes our StoryKit concept. These papers (DIS2000, CHI2002) complement the videos.

This video (small , large) describes the StoryRoom concept. We have contructed other StoryRooms. Here is a video ( small , large) on Goldilocks and the Three Bears (summer 2002).

The programming component of the StoryKit is called Physical Programming. Physical Programming is a way for children to create interaction rules without the apparent use of any traditional computational devices, such as mouse, screen, or keyboard. Unlike the work described in earlier papers and videos, there are no longer any computer-like elements in the StoryKit. Here is a video ( small , large) that describes an example Physical Programming syntax.

This page was last updated on Dec 15, 2005.