(that's Welcome in Arabic) - and also the name of our latest Robot to join the Qatar RoboLab.
Hala is a robot receptionist (or roboceptionist) that can be found at the front desk of Carnegie Mellon, Qatar. She understands written English/Arabic and can speak back to you in either language. She can give instructions, directions and other information ranging from the weather, politics, you name it! Hala also likes to chat, so drop by and say hello or Marharba! Hala is newest member of a long line of Roboceptionists previously built at our main Carnegie Mellon campus by Prof. Reid Simmons and Prof. Anne Mundell. The long term goal of the Hala project is to investigate Human Robot Interaction (HRI) in a mixed cultural context. That is, we are investigating the algorithms required to enable a robot to interact with humans more effectively by explicitly reasoning about context, and the cultural setting of the interaction.

Intuitive Touchscreen Interface
The ITI is an alternate experiment part of our Human-Robot Interaction research. Unlike Hala, which is aimed at being a conversational robot, the ITI provides a constrained input path. In other words, the interaction is guided by a wizard-like interface, which provides 100% input converage. We are working on adding "character" to the ITI, based on recorded interactions with Hala.

Hala and the ITI is a work-in-progress, we strongly encourage students and other volunteers to participate in it. Please check the Other Info page. This project is being funded by an NPRP grant from the Qatar National Research Fund. The statements made herein are solely the responsibilities of the authors.