Teddy Augmented Reality Ambulance Assistant / Savannah College of Art and Design
Submitted By Claire Puginier
In hospital care and transport, a patient’s health and well-being are not determined solely by the
quality of medical intervention, but are also influenced by mental, emotional, and social factors.
‘Teddy’ is an augmented reality experience that utilizes human-computer interaction to alleviate
stress and emotional trauma, focusing specifically on the context of children in emergent
transport. Within the augmented reality, Teddy, the AI paramedic bear accompanies and
provides children in ambulances with emotional support, reassurance, and distraction allowing
us to alter their perceived environment. The physical design of the AR glasses additionally
supports the paramedic in their task of monitoring the patient’s vital signs using biometrics, and
establishing pain levels and patient responsiveness through motion tracking. Through verbal
and physical interactions and prompts, the AI of Teddy refines its own patient-specific dialogue
structure by developing and synthesizing knowledge about the patient and their condition. The
digital manipulation of environmental psychology informed by an interactive AI is what makes
this a unique approach to HCI and research-by-design.
To conduct user testing, we needed to find a viable medium through which to communicate our mixed reality. Experimenting with programs including Unity, Photoshop, After Effects, and diverse Panorama viewers we designed prototypes in virtual reality. Using a 360-degree grid, we prototyped our wireframe sketches as virtual realities. This helped us make initial decisions on the positioning, scale, and visibility of the AI character. These wireframes additionally provided a basis for later user testing. Using cardboard VR headsets and 360 photos of our film set, we were able to place Teddy into the virtual environment and begin user testing. Our main interest was to observe how children responded to Teddy, and how easily they were able to comprehend the 360 technology. Additionally we tested how much of the natural ambulance environment was being perceived and remembered with and without the presence of Teddy. By interviewing and testing the headsets with both children and their parents we were able to gather valuable insights from two of our primary stakeholder groups.
Teddy Augmented Reality Ambulance Assistant
Savannah College of Art and Design