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Social robotics and human-robot interaction

Naomi Fitter, Oregon State University
3-4pm  24th Oct 2019

Abstract

As robots appear in more everyday environments, they will have new opportunities to enhance the lives of the people around them. Despite this potential gain, modern robots lack many of the necessary skills to effectively interact with people. My talk will cover research efforts in social haptics, socially assistive robotics, and robots in art: three areas that can contribute to more capable everyday robots. One facet of my work concerns the potential of social touch capabilities for robots; although almost all robots lack the kinds of social touch capabilities that help human beings to learn about the world and connect with one another, social touch can contribute to human-robot connections. The unique abilities of robots can also help them encourage and reinforce healthy behavior. A second research example in this talk demonstrates the ability of a small socially assistive humanoid to teach and reinforce infant motion training. Additionally, to make a successful impact, robotic systems for social touch and socially assistive applications must generally be easy and pleasant to use. Studies of robotic art in everyday environments can contribute to satisfying these design criteria. My ongoing and future research aims to create everyday robotic systems to help people live healthier and happier lives.

 

Short Bio

Dr. Naomi T. Fitter is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University. Her past degrees include a B.S. and B.A. in mechanical engineering and Spanish from the University of Cincinnati and an M.S.E. and Ph.D. in robotics and mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her doctoral work in the GRASP Laboratory’s Haptics Group and was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the University of Southern California Interaction Lab from 2017 to 2018. As a member of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CoRIS) Institute, Dr. Fitter aims to equip robots with the ability to engage and empower people in interactions from playful high-fives to challenging physical therapy routines.

 

Venue

Crossland Lecture Theatre, Parsons Building