Roger Thomas Kok Chuen Tan

National University of Singapore, Tumasik, Singapore

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Publications (9)2.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although animals and pets are so important for families and society, in modern urban lifestyles, we can only spend little time with our animal friends. Interactive media should be aimed to enhance not only human-to-human communication but also human-to-animal communication. Thus, we promote a new type of interspecies media interaction which allows human users to interact and play with their small pet friends (in this case, hamsters) remotely via the Internet through a mixed-reality-based game system “Metazoa Ludens.” We used a two-pronged approach to scientifically examine the system. First, and most importantly, the body condition score study was conducted to evaluate the positive effects to the hamsters. Second, the method of Duncan was used to assess the strength of preference of the hamsters toward Metazoa Ludens. Lastly, the effectiveness of this remote interaction with respect to the human users as an interactive gaming system with their pets/friends (hamster) was examined based on Csikszentmihalyi's Flow theory. Results of both studies inform of positive remote interaction between human users and their pet friends using our research system. This research is not only just aimed at providing specific experimental results on the implemented research system but is also aimed as a wider lesson for human-to-animal interactive media. Therefore, as an addition, we present a detailed framework suited in general for human-to-animal interaction systems inferred from the lessons learned.
    IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics - Part A Systems and Humans 10/2011; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper will introduce digital media exhibitions developed for the Singapore Science Center. Digital media has become a new form of literacy for children. Allowing them to experience hands on advanced media technology should be the best way for children to understand these new technologies. To achieve this goal, we have developed exhibitions in the Singapore Science Center such as Blog Wall, Media Mirror, and Evolution Table. These cover advanced mixed reality, and human interaction technologies to have new experiences of learning and playing for children.
    Digital Media and its Application in Museum & Heritages, Second Workshop on; 01/2008
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    Conference Paper: Empathetic living media.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a new form of interactive living media used to communicate social or ecological information in the form of an empathetic ambient media. In the fast paced modern world people are generally too busy to monitor various significant social or human aspects of their lives, such as time spent with their family, their overall health, state of the ecology, etc. By quantifying such information digitally, information is semantically coupled into living microorganisms, E. coli . Through the use of transformed DNA, the E. coli will then glow or dim according to the data. The core technical innovation of this system is the development of an information system based on a closed-loop control system through which digital input is able to control input fluids to the E. coli , and thereby control the output glow of the E. coli in real time. Thus, social or ecological based information is coupled into a living and organic media through this control system capsule and provides a living media which promotes empathy. We provide user design and feedback results to verify the validity of our hypothesis, and provide not only system results but generalized design frameworks for empathetic living media in general.
    Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Cape Town, South Africa, February 25-27, 2008; 01/2008
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    ABSTRACT: Metazoa Ludens is a revolutionary system that enables humans to play computer games with small animals in a mixed reality environment. The desire to create this human-pet computer game system illustrates a way to reverse the trend of the growing lack of quality time spent between humans and their pets. Hence, the aim is to create a media interface capable of remote human-animal interaction, which takes into consideration the different physiological and psychological make-up between humans and their pets, and the way they may interact with the interface. Human-animal interaction offers many benefits for both humans and animals [4, 2]. While digital media interaction has been greatly enhanced by the advancement of technology, such interactions are generally restricted to human-human interaction and not extended to promote inter-species interaction. Furthermore, the advancement of technology itself is changing the way people live, demanding longer working hours in order to match up with the higher level of efficiency. Due to this general change in the professional lifestyle [6], humans are out of the house for longer hours and often pets are generally neglected. With this negligence, pets will be deprived of the love and care they require from their human families [7]. Hence, Metazoa Ludens intends to fill in the niche which has been lacking, to provide a way to promote human-animal interaction, locally or remotely, while making use of high-technological advancements to create an environment that augments and enhances such interactivity. This new interface gives a different form of game play and connectivity between humans and small animals relative to existing ones. With this mixed reality game system, different forms of interaction may be introduced where the small animals (like hamsters) are allowed to “chase after” the human owners in a digital world, hence instead of empowering the pets they get caught up in a compromised situation. Metazoa Ludens hopes to place the hamster on an equal level in the virtual world (which is impossible in the physical world) and allow interaction between human and hamster through a digital interface in a mixed reality manner which is different from the conventional human-animal interaction. Current human-animal interaction between owners and their pets mostly involve simple games to the likes of fetch which do not utilize sophisticated technology. Poultry.Internet [7] and Cat Toy [3] are some interactive systems developed using sophisticated technology for remote human-pet interactions. However, these systems provide only a one-way interaction, and do not allow the owner to interact with their pets in a more emotional and intimate manner. Building upon all these pet-human interactive systems, Metazoa Ludens brings on a new form of human-animal interaction by extending and augmenting previous systems to allow bidirectional interaction between pet owners and their pet hamsters via playing computer games (locally or remotely). In addition, it incorporates beneficial aspects (such as exercises) to the pets with a built-in method of positive reinforcement, to motivate the pets into performing positive behaviors as well as in the promotion of the awareness of digital human-animal interaction. System Overview. (© Adrian David Cheok) In the real world within the big running space of the system, the hamster chases after a physical movable arm on a moldable surface area. The movement of the hamster is then translated into the movement of a pet avatar in the virtual gaming space which is shared by the human. The human controls the movement of a human avatar in the virtual gaming world, which is actually controlling the movement of the physical attractor in the real world. Thus, this loop (see Fig. 1) enables the merging of two realities, both human’s virtual reality and the animal’s physical reality via the Metazoa Ludens system. Further details, pictures and videos of the system can be found at metazoa.mixedrealitylab.org The system is made up of 3 subsystems. Firstly, there is a camera subsystem which will take care of the camera tracking of the hamster. Secondly, a hardware subsystem to send signals to the stepper motors that will in turn control the actuators and the three...
    Leonardo 01/2008; 41(3):308-309.
  • Adrian David Cheok, Zheng Shawn Lim, Roger Thomas Kok Chuen Tan
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a new system of non-photorealistic rendering which allows landscape photographs to be automatically converted to look like Oriental paintings. Using various computer vision and image processing techniques, we can generate images with the rules and features commonly found in Oriental paintings. With such a system, anyone can create realistic Oriental paintings easily, without the years of practice that are usually required by Oriental artists.
    Computers & Graphics. 01/2007; 31:280-291.
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    ABSTRACT: Interactive media not only should enhance human-to-human communication, but also human-to-animal communication. We promote a new type of media interaction allowing human users to interact and play with their small pets (like hamsters) remotely via Internet through a mixed-reality-based game system “Metazoa Ludens”. To examine the system’s effectiveness: Firstly, the positive effects to the hamsters are established using Body Condition Score study. Secondly, the method of Duncan is used to assess the strength of preference of the hamsters towards Metazoa Ludens. Lastly, the effectiveness of this remote interaction, with respect to the human users as an interactive gaming system with their pet hamsters, is examined based on Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow theory [1]. Results of these studies have shown positive remote interaction between human user and their pet friends. This paper provides specific experimental results on the implemented research system, and a framework for human-to-animal interactive media.
    Entertainment Computing - ICEC 2007, 6th International Conference, Shanghai, China, September 15-17, 2007, Proceedings; 01/2007
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    Conference Paper: Metazoa Ludens.
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    ABSTRACT: Metazoa Ludens is new gaming model which allows pets to play new mixed reality computer games with humans via custom built technologies and applications. These games for pets and humans will provide new beneficial relations, progressions and evolution of the Metazoa species.
    Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2006, Hollywood, California, USA, June 14-16, 2006; 01/2006
  • Roger Thomas Kok Chuen Tan, Adrian David Cheok, James Keng Soon Teh
    IJVR. 01/2006; 5:53-58.
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    ABSTRACT: For better or worse, technological advancement has changed the world to the extent that at a professional level demands from the working executive required more hours either in the office or on business trips, on a social level the population (especially the younger generation) are glued to the computer either playing video games or surfing the internet. Traditional leisure activities, especially interaction with pets have been neglected or forgotten. This paper introduces Metazoa Ludens, a new computer mediated gaming system which allows pets to play new mixed reality computer games with humans via custom built technologies and applications. During the game-play the real pet chases after a physical movable bait in the real world within a predefined area; infra-red camera tracks the pets' movements and translates them into the virtual world of the system, corresponding them to the movement of a virtual pet avatar running after a virtual human avatar. The human player plays the game by controlling the human avatar's movements in the virtual world, this in turn relates to the movements of the physical movable bait in the real world which moves as the human avatar does. This unique way of playing computer game would give rise to a whole new way of mixed reality interaction between the pet owner and her pet thereby bringing technology and its influence on leisure and social activities to the next level.
    The International Journal of Virtual Reality. 01/2006; 5:53-58.