This page describes the I-Room Helper Robot and how users of the I-Room can interact with it.
The I-Room Helper Robot provides a centralised mechanism by which users can access the facilities that the I-Room offers them. It also can be linked to an external I-X agent that allows instructions to be sent to it from an I-X Process Panel (or any other I-X agent). In their basic form, an interaction with the Robot takes the form of an activity name (a verb) and then any appropriate parameters. For instance, instructing the Robot to say hello causes the Robot to announce "hello" on the Second Life open chat channel. It is intended that the functonality of the Robot - in terms of the messages it 'understands', that is, to which it can respond usefully - would be extended as appropriate for specific applications. This might involve modifications to the Robot's code (written in LSL, the Linden Scripting Language) or additions to the Robot's "I-Room Setup" notecard to associate additional capabilities (verbs) with objects.
We assume that the Robot has been configured and placed in the I-Room, and has been switched on. The basic manner in which users interact with the Robot is by chatting with it on a designated channel. By default this is channel 9 (and this is the value we will use here in examples) but this can be altered by changing the value of the channel variable in the Robot's I-RoomHelp script.
The Robot responds to the following standard commands that are 'chatted' by avatars on its designated channel (ie, prefix the command with /9 if using the default channel). Alternatively, if communicating with the Robot from I-X, the appropriate message (without channel information) should be sent as an I-X activity to the I-X Second Life agent (from a Process Panel activities can be easily constructed and sent with the Tools > Messenger tool).
If the Robot receives a command other than one of those listed above, it first checks to see whether it knows of an object that has as a capability the verb of the command. If such an object is found, it says the command to that object on the object's designated communication channel; otherwise, the Robot says the command on the open chat channel. Note that the Robot will respond to any command that originates from I-X with a completion report, once it has handled the command. (This should not be interpreted as indicating that the corresponding activity has been completed - since it might have been passed on to a different object - but that the handling of the command by the Robot has been completed.)
Furthermore, it should be noted that many of the activities listed above involve the Robot saying something on one or other of the Second Life chat channels. Hence, this effectively constrains the in-world size of the I-Room to the radius within which chat is audible, which is currently 20 metres; all objects and participating avatars should lie within this radius.