OK, my long-winded answer to this question…
How can Misty II achieve a positive initial impression for customers and maintain that over time?
For me, instead of describing Misty using human characteristics, a more accurate model base would be a pet and behaviors and characteristics therein.
Why do people grow disinterested in possessions and discard them while they acquire pets in which they invest large amounts of time over the life of the pet? I contend that a major differentiator is the interest the pet takes in the owner. How many times have you witnessed the scene where the owner arrives home and the pet absolutely goes crazy? The pet barks and dances about with great enthusiasm.
So, how can I get Misty to show interest in me and my family? An example: our home security system makes an announcement whenever the car entry door to our garage opens up. If I can get Misty to recognize that announcement and act to move to the human entry door from the garage into the house and be there when we enter the house that would show interest in me and my family. Adding a random greeting when the entry door opened would be icing on the cake.
Other behaviors that would impress us both initially and over time:
At times Misty should be an inquisitve explorer. As Misty explores it should frequently generate random audio clues as to its whereabouts and current state. These clues need to be nonintrusive so that they can be a part of the normal background audio environment but distinct enough that they can be focused on as needed.
At other times Misty should randomly select a member of the family and follow them about for some random period of time. Misty might even make a comment or two about the weather or upcoming sporting events as it follows along.
At night Misty should become largely quiescent but still monitor audio. If Misty hears an audio cue that is above a certain threshold it could investigate.
When especially loud sounds occur, say thunder or a neighborhood kid revving their engine, Misty could make random exclamations.
At infrequent but random times, Misty would simulate stalking an imaginary item. Can anyone say cat?
One key aspect to these behaviors is the idea of random. By random I don’t mean random in the normal sense but more in the serendipitous sense where when it occurs the customer thinks “Wow, how great is that!” or “How cute is that.”
Audio should play a major role here. For example, the base model of Misty would make it easy for the customer to choose alternative pre-packaged audio sounds and attach them to hooks placed throughout Misty’s behaviors. For an additional fee, an audio recorder, editor and uploader would allow the user to create custom audio clips to be attached to the behavior hooks. Occasionally Misty Robotics might release additional audio packs of their own.
That is my take on how to make Misty II impressive from beginning to forever.