**Please note the date change from January 14 to January 21**
Speaker: Maja Mataric
Chan Soon-Shiong Chair, Computer Science,
Neuroscience and Pediatrics; Vice Dean for
Research, Viterbi School of Engineering;
Founding Director, USC Center for Robotics
and Embedded Systems; Director, USC
Robotics Research Lab
Title: Robots Among Us? Socially assistive human-robot interaction
Socially assistive robotics (SAR) is a new field of intelligent robotics that focuses on developing machines capable of assisting users through social rather than physical interaction. The robot's physical embodiment is at the heart of SAR'seffectiveness, as it leverages the inherently human tendency to engage with lifelike (but not necessarily humanlike or otherwise biomimetic) social behavior. People readily ascribe intention, personality, and emotion to robots; SAR leverages this engagement stemming from non-contact social interaction involving speech, gesture, movement demonstration and imitation, and encouragement, to develop robots capable of monitoring, motivating, and sustaining user activities and improving human learning, training, performance and health outcomes.
Human-robot interaction (HRI) for SAR is a growing multifaceted research area at the intersection of engineering, health sciences, neuroscience, social, and cognitive sciences. This talk will describe our research into embodiment, modeling and steering social dynamics, and long-term user adaptation for SAR. The research will be grounded in projects involving analysis of multi-modal activity data, modeling personality and engagement, formalizing social use of space and non-verbal communication, and personalizing the interaction with the user over a period of months, among others. The presented methods and algorithms will be validated on implemented SAR systems evaluated by human subject cohorts from a variety of user populations, including stroke patients, children with autism spectrum disorder, and elderly with Alzheimersand other forms of dementia.
Mataric’s lab focuses on enabling robots to help people through social rather than physical assistance. Her research into socially assistive robotics is developing robot-aided therapies for autism, stroke rehabilitation, dementia, and obesity mitigation by developing algorithms for humanrobot interaction that involve embodiment, social dynamics, and long-term adaptation. Among other honors, Mataric is a Fellow of the AAAS and IEEE, recipient of the Presidential Mentoring Award, the Okawa Foundation Award, NSF Career Award, MIT TR35 Innovation Award, and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award.
See event poster here
Find more information on the department's Distinguished Lecture Series here
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This lecture is open to the public. Space is limited and there is no registration; coming early is strongly recommended.