What Makes Robots Special? Lessons from Building Robots that Teach

Speaker: Brian Scassellati , Yale University

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Refreshments: 12:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Seminar Room G449 (Patil/Kiva)

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Host: Stefanie Mueller

Contact: Amy Xian Zhang, axz@csail.mit.edu

Relevant URL: http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/scaz/Scaz.html

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Reminders to: seminars@csail.mit.edu, hci-seminar@csail.mit.edu, chi-labs@csail.mit.edu, msgs@media.mit.edu

Reminder Subject: TALK: What Makes Robots Special? Lessons from Building Robots that Teach

Abstract:
For the past 15 years, I have been building robots that teach social and cognitive skills to children. Typically, we construct these robots to be social partners, to engage individuals with social skills that encourage that person to respond to the robot as a social agent rather than as a mechanical device. Most of the time, interactions with artificial agents (both robots and virtual characters) follow the same rules as interactions with people.

The first part of this talk will focus on how human-robot interactions are uniquely different from both human-agent interactions and human-human interactions. These differences, taken together, provide a case for why robots might be unique tools for learning.

The second part of this talk will describe some of our ongoing work on building robots that teach. In particular, I will describe some of the efforts to use robots to enhance the therapy and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Bio:
Brian Scassellati is a Professor of Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Mechanical Engineering at Yale University and Director of the NSF Expedition on Socially Assistive Robotics. His research focuses on building embodied computational models of human social behavior, especially the developmental progression of early social skills.

Dr. Scassellati received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001. His dissertation work (Foundations for a Theory of Mind for a Humanoid Robot) with Rodney Brooks used models drawn from developmental psychology to build a primitive system for allowing robots to understand people. His work at MIT focused mainly on two well-known humanoid robots named Cog and Kismet.

Dr. Scassellati's research in social robotics and assistive robotics has been recognized within the robotics community, the cognitive science community, and the broader scientific community. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2007 and received an NSF CAREER award in 2003. His work has been awarded five best-paper awards. He was the chairman of the IEEE Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee from 2006 to 2007, the program chair of the IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL) in both 2007 and 2008, and the program chair for the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in 2009.

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Created by Amy Xian Zhang Email at Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 3:31 AM.