Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Configure the Hover Text

Pandorabots are delivered with a default setting for the display of hover text - the text floating above their head. The default setting for Pandorabot hover text is:
    "Chat with me in Local Chat!
     Touch me for Information"

Hover text display can be easily disabled via the Pandorabot configuration dialog menu. Click your active Pandorabot, select "Hover Text", and click either "Enable" or "Disable".

To change the hover text edit the Configuration notecard and add a line to the top:
    HOVER_TEXT = Your_Custom_Hover_Text

The color of the hover text can also be set by adding a line to the top of the Configuration notecard:
    HOVER_COLOR = <r, g, b>
where <r, g, b> represents the amount of red, green, and blue with values between 0 and 1. For instance, to set a red hover text, use:
    HOVER_COLOR = <1, 0, 0>

To disable hover text even after a Pandorabot reset, add the following line to the top of the Configuration notecard:

Custom Notecard and Landmark

Pandorabots V2 and later come preconfigured to give a notecard, landmark, and the Pandorabot User Guide when touched by a non-owner. By default, the notecard and landmark describe Pandorabots and provide a landmark to the Restless Studio demonstration pandorabot.

You may prefer to configure your Pandorabot to give a notecard and landmark more suitable for your needs. To do so, edit the Pandorabot and add your custom notecard and landmark to the Pandorabot's contents. You can delete the Restless Studio notecard and landmark if you wish but it is not necessary. Only the first notecard and landmark in the Pandorabot's contents are delivered.

Therefore, make sure your notecard and landmark are named so they appear first in alphabetical order within the Pandorabot contents.

Change the Pandorabot Greeting

The Pandorabot is configured by default to greet new arrivals within 25 meters with a message:
    "Hello <avatar name>!
     Touch me for information and chat with me in local chat."
To change the greeting text or range edit the Configuration notecard and change the settings for the variables GREET_1, GREET_2, and RANGE. These can be found right after the opening comments.

The greeting will be 'GREET_1<name of avatar>GREET_2'. A "\n" can be used for a new line. Care should be taken when increasing the range. The maximum range is 96 meters but, depending on where you place your Pandorabot, a large greeting range might cause your Pandorabot to greet arrivals on your neighbors parcel :(

After editing the greeting text and/or range, save the script back to the Pandorabot's contents. Prior to closing the editing session, select "Tools -> Reset scripts in selection" from your viewer's menu.

Query A Non-English Wikipedia

Pandorabot V3 and later can be configured to query a non-English Wikipedia. At the time of this writing Wikipedia supports 276 languages. Although English is the largest Wikipedia there are many very extensive non-English Wikipedias. If your Pandorabot will be interacting primarily with a non-English speaking public you may wish to configure it to query one of the non-English Wikipedias. Note that when configured in this manner the Pandorabot will still fall back on the English Wikipedia if the search phrase is not found in the non-English Wikipedia.

The easiest and quickest way to configure your Pandorabot V3 to access one of the non-English Wikipedias is to use the GUI dialog menu. Click your active Pandorabot and select "Language". In the Language menu, select one of the ten languages. The ten languages supported in the dialog menu are English, Deutsch, Français, Polski, Italiano, Nihongo, Español, Nederlands, Português, and Russkiy. These ten languages represent the ten Wikipedias with over half a million articles. Exit the configuration dialog menu and your Pandorabot is now set to query the non-English Wikipedia you selected.

If you wish to query a language Wikipedia not listed in the dialog menu then it is necessary to edit the Configuration notecard. Edit your Pandorabot, open the Contents tab, open the Configuration notecard within the contents, and add a line at the top:
    LANG_CODE = two_letter_language_code
    LANG_NAME = language_name
For instance, to query the Greek Wikipedia you would add the lines:
    LANG_CODE = el
    LANG_NAME = Greek
The language codes and names are listed on the List of Wikipedias.

It is also possible to change which ten languages are available in the dialog menu by editing the Configuration notecard and setting the LANG_CODES and LANG_NAMES variables. Follow the examples for the default settings in the Configuration notecard's comments.

Finally, you may also wish to configure the Wikipedia trigger phrases. These are, by default, English phrases like "what is" and "who are". To change these phrases to another language edit the Configuration notecard and add a line to the top:
    WIKIPEDIA_TRIGGERS = comma_separated_list_of_triggers
For instance, if you set "LANG_CODE = fr" and "LANG_NAME = French" then you may desire French trigger phrases for your French speaking visitors. To do so you would set something like the following:
    WIKIPEDIA_TRIGGERS = ce qui est ,?,quelle est ,?,quel est le ,?,qui est ,?,qui sont ,?
and so on (i did not translate all the triggers - that is your job!). Trigger phrases should be lower case, end in a space, and be separated by a question mark or whatever the symbol for a question is in your selected language.

Changing A Pandorabot's Look

Pandorabots are available in a wide variety of preconfigured appearances. These include a female in business attire, male, female club go-er, parrot, bear, rotating head, and 3D sculpted parrot (wearable or perched). Most include a dialog menu option allowing the owner to easily and quickly select one of the preconfigured Pandorabot appearances. Simply click your active Pandorabot and select "Gender" from the dialog menu. You can always return to the factory default (plus any Configuration notecard changes you have made) by either clicking "Reset" in the dialog menu or "Tools -> Reset scripts in selection" from the viewer menu.

It is also possible to add custom textures to the Pandorabot. Create the texture you wish to use, drop it in your Pandorabot object's Contents, and add a line to the top of the Configuration notecard:
    TEXTURE = name_of_your_texture

When changing the default Pandorabot texture you may also wish to change the default Pandorabot name to suit your new texture. To do so, edit the Configuration notecard adding lines at the top:
    FIRST_NAME = Your_New_Pandorabot_First_Name
    LAST_NAME = Your_New_Pandorabot_Last_Name

If you are using Pandorabot V3 or later you may also wish to change the default voice. To do so, edit the Configuration notecard:
    VOICE = male
    VOICE = female
    VOICE = none

Finally, it is possible to move the Pandorabot's contents to any object for which you have modify rights. Edit the Pandorabot, open the Contents tab, select all of the contents items, drag them to a folder, and close the edit window. Edit your modifiable object, open the Contents tab, select all of the Pandorabot files you dragged to a folder, drag them to your new object's contents, and close the edit window. Note, your original Pandorabot will no longer function. You can restore it by reversing this process and dragging the files back to the original Pandorabot.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What is a Pandorabot ?

A Pandorabot is a scripted Second Life object that responds to local chat, greets new arrivals, and can be used to deliver notecards and landmarks. Depending on the phrase, a Pandorabot will query Wikipedia for an appropriate response, use its AIML programmed context sensitive artificial intelligence, check your spelling using Yahoo's spellcheck API, or send an email to any specified email address. Pandorabots can also be used to greet new arrivals and send notecards and landmarks, as well as answer questions.

Pandorabots can be on hand to greet and inform or entertain guests on your parcel even when you are offline. A properly customized Pandorabot can act effectively as a personal or business assistant, directing and informing your visitors to products, services, or personal whereabouts. Once deployed a Pandorabot is not a static feature of the parcel but continues to evolve as responses to additional matching words, phrases, questions, and comments
are programmed or learned.

Restless Studio Pandorabots are preconfigured to query Wikipedia for responses making the Pandorabot the smartest robot in Second Life. The Pandorabot is the only chat bot in Second Life that supports multiple bot deployment. That is, you can place two or more Pandorabots in your store (e.g. each responding to queries for a particular product or service) and they will ignore each other avoiding the infinite chat loop other chat bots enter. Pandorabots can also be used to check spelling, deliver notecards/landmarks, or greet new arrivals.

Pandorabots are available in female and male human form, wearable parrot or bear, rotating head with the face of Bob Dobbs & Steven Colbert, or a 3D sculpted perched parrot. Pandorabot V3 can also be configured to speak using either male or female speech synthesis.

The Pandorabot V4 can integrate with a Sine Wave Actorbot to provide a realistic animated interactive 3D bot avatar. See "How to Setup a Pandorabot Actorbot" for details.

Restless Studio Pandorabots are available on the Second Life Marketplace. Detailed information on configuration and use is available in either PDF or OpenDocument format documentation.