BatSPA - Bat Scientist's Personal Assistant
Intelligent Virtual Personal Assistant for Bat Scientists
Our life is benefited by the use of contemporary technologies. Most of these technologies are widely used in scientific studies. Many bat researchers, however, still follow traditional methods of collecting and processing data, not taking advantage of the potential of modern inventions. Some of these methods include collecting data first on paper, and then have it digitized long after the end of the fieldwork. Another common practice is the use of several digital devices such as cameras and sound recorders in combination with paper notebooks. These practices often cause long delays before the completion of processing the gathered information. Manual data transfer often leads to typographical errors, and during the period from obtaining the information to digitizing it, valuable notes and observations could be lost or remain undetected. The data collection process will be significantly eased if a researcher could use a single entity for collecting, storing and processing data.
Here we will share the development progress of such an entity – Virtual Intelligent Personal Assistant (VIPA) designated to facilitate the field work of the bat researchers.
VIPAs are software agents designated to assist users in performing specific tasks. They are able to communicate, cooperate, discuss, and guide people. One major advantage of the VIPAs is that they collaborate with the user in different ways, and in virtually unlimited tasks and applications, by hiding the complexity of difficult tasks, performing tasks on behalf of the user, and teaching the user to monitor events and procedures.
The developed VIPA is a BDI-based, mobile software developed using freely available Open Source technologies. Its initial version will include some basic functionalities such as gathering of fully customizable field data, processing of this data, analysis and reports.
The future plans include integrating this software into a Virtual Collaboration Space for Bat Scientist as an additional abstraction layer of inter-operation.