Friday, July 22, 2011

I Just Want a Greeter - What are my Options?

One common question I get goes something like:

"I'm searching for a bot who welcomes my guests and talks to them. Must my pc be running all the time with the viewer open ? Or do you use your own software ? Is the Bot always logged in ?"

Pandorabots come in several styles all of which can be used as greeters, provide artificially intelligent chat, query Wikipedia, deliver notecards/landmarks, and more. Your options for setting up a Pandorabot greeter/conversationalist include the following:
  1. The 2-D Pandorabot V5 is basically a texture applied to a scripted object. The 2-D Pandorabot V5 does not need a viewer running nor is it logged in to Second Life - it is simply an object that is rezzed at your store or home. It can be configured as a greeter, chats, queries Wikipedia, spell check, and other features you expect from a Pandorabot. However, it is a static two dimensional cutout and is not as realistic as the other Pandorabots.
  2. A 3-D sculpted Pandorabot V5 is similar to the 2-D Pandorabot V5 but is a sculpted object made to resemble a parrot. It can be rezzed in place or worn. It is a static three dimensional sculpted prim and does not require a viewer nor is it logged into SL.
  3. An animated 3-D shape and particle display that contains a Pandorabot V5. Similar to both of the above, the Inner Spheres Pandorabot is a rezzed object, does not need a viewer, and does not need to be logged into SL. It is a rotating set of geometric shapes and particle displays - intelligent eye candy!
  4. A 3-D animated avatar Pandorabot is the most sophisticated of the Pandorabots. These require a viewer and must be logged into Second Life just like any avatar. They provide a realistic animated avatar and, in some ways, are indistinguishable from a "real" person :) They use a thin text client as viewer so they consume very little computer resources. The viewer can be left running and minimized without undue strain on a normal system. The 3-D animated avatar Pandorabot must be logged in to be visible. They come in two varieties - the Actorbot Add-On and the METAbolt Add-On. I prefer and recommend the METAbolt Add-On as it is lighter weight, in active development, and supports the physics layer. Both are Windows only clients.
The prices for the models of Pandorabot described above are:
  • 2-D Pandorabot V5 is L$245
  • 3-D sculpted Pandorabot V5 is L$245
  • 3-D Inner Spheres Pandorabot is L$245
  • 3-D animated avatar Pandorabot is L$395
All are available on the Second Life Marketplace at

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