IVR Overview

2.0 builds upon the first ALAVs (Autonomous Light Air Vessels) project. Similar to the original, the system communicates the concept of connectivity among people, objects, and the environment. 2.0 introduces a new, larger flock with more complex behaviors and interactions.

2.0 invites people as more active members of the ecology. With the integration of an Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) system, individuals can use their mobile phones and engage in a conversation with the blimps that affects the blimps' behavior and their own.

The IVR acts as a technological link between a blimp(s) and a person to communicate with each other. Every participant interacts with the ALAVs either as a "friend" or a "foe." People are also given the opportunity to carry on a dialogue with either the entire group or an individual ("oddball").

The IVR system provides the following four possible outcomes that determine group and individual behaviors:

Friend with a group: Behaviors: bread crumbs or sour milk
Foe with a group: Behaviors: hide or scatter
Friend with an individual (odd ball): Behaviors: courtship.
Foe with an individual (odd ball): Behaviors: guardian.

The following is a detailed breakdown of IVR Dialogue:



The ALAVs have the following predefined behaviors: flocking, feeding, bread crumbs, sour milk, hide, scatter, courtship, guardian, bump, call back and the "happiness factor."

The "happiness factor" of the flock is set by indirect interactions. Each person who participates with the IVR system (whether they are a friend or a foe) will effect the overall evolving group behavior referred to as the "happiness factor."

The "happiness factor" effects the overall group's altitude, noise and light activity. It adjusts accordingly to people's participation. On one of the spectrum, if the 'happiness factor' is "friendly," the group is closer to the ground (3-4 feet), more chatty, and with consistent light activity. At the other end, if the 'happiness factor' reaches "foe," the group altitude rises overhead (8-9 feet), they become quieter and blink their lights frequently.

One challenge in building out the expanded system was how to invoke behaviors with voice commands that can be recognized in the moment as well as over time. The evolving behaviors of the group activity are recognized over a time period defined by the participants.


All materials contained therein are © copyright 2005-2007, Jed Berk