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 digitalized 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 digitalizing 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 present 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 presented VIPA is a BDI-based, mobile software developed using freely available Open Source technologies. Its initial version includes 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 interoperation.

Authors: Angel Ivanov1, Stanimira Deleva2, Daniela Orozova3

1 Burgas Free University, Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, Burgas, Bulgaria,
2 University of Costa Rica, Faculty of Biology, San Jose, Costa Rica,
3 Burgas Free University, Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, Burgas, Bulgaria,

Type:  oral presentation

Section: Cave Biology / Bio speleology

Short bio of the presenter: Angel Ivanov is a PhD Student and assistant professor at the Burgas Free University, Burgas Bulgaria. He is also an experienced cave explorer participating in many scientific research projects.

Bulgarian Federation of Speleology – Board Member,
Burgas-NEPIAST Caving Club, Bulgaria,
CES-ESCARPE Caving Club, Andalusia, Spain
Grupo Espeleológico Anthros, Costa Rica

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