Victor G. McGlaughlin (Prof. Joel Hollingsworth) Department of Computing Sciences
An embodied mobile agent (EMA) is a graphically animated autonomous or semi-autonomous software system that is capable of movement between computing devices. This research moves in new directions by considering the use of EMAs on mobile devices as opposed to desktop and laptop computers. This research attempts to determine what constitutes a functional software framework for EMAs on mobile devices, establish useful methods for discovery of EMAs on the wireless network, and ascertain efficient methods for delivering an EMA over the network. The Apple iPod Touch was chosen as the mobile device on which to perform this research due to the popularity of these devices. A graphical object was created using a 3D modeling software package and exported into an XML (text only) format. The EMA framework software that was created for this research reads this XML file and draws the model to the iPod Touch display. This allows for animation of the 3D graphical object as well as user interaction. User interaction is based off of the user touching the multi-touch screen or moving (rotating, swinging, etc.) the device. (Builtinaccelerometers can capture this motion.) Devices can detect the presence of a second device and create a connection between the two devices, allowing for the EMA (the graphical model and an attached application) to be packaged and sent from one device to another device. This software framework will allow for a wide array of applications to be built upon it by providing a high-level interface for using the framework. This will give the application the ability to function as a mobile agent (that is, it can be transferred from one device to another) and will provide the user with an intuitive, graphical interface with which he can monitor and control the application.