Ayanna Howard, Ph.D.
VIRTUAL PRESENTATION: Pediatric Robotics – a journey from the lab to a child’s home
Chair and Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor
School of Interactive Computing
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
2 Riverside Circle Roanoke, VA 24016, Roanoke 24016
This lecture will be presented via webcast. Details on how to tune in will be posted here before the event.
It is estimated that 15% of children aged 3 through 17 born in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities. That means approximately one in six children will have an impairment in their physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These impairments may impact a child’s day-to-day functioning and typically last as they mature into adults. For many of these children, proper early intervention is provided as a mechanism to support the child’s academic, developmental, and functional goals from birth and beyond. With the recent advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), early intervention protocols using robots is now ideally positioned to make an impact in this domain. There are numerous challenges though that still must be addressed to enable successful interaction between patients, clinicians, and robots - developing interfaces for clinicians to communicate with their robot counterparts; developing learning methods to endow robots with the ability to playfully interact with the child; and ensuring that the robot can provide feedback to the parent and clinician in a trustworthy manner. Dr. Howard will discuss the role of robotics and related technologies for pediatric therapy and highlight her methods and preclinical studies that bring us closer to this goal. Her talk will provide a first look at how robots and AI can change the texture of our day-to-day experiences through examples of research focused on robots interacting with humans, with an emphasis on healthcare robotics that can enable a healthier, less stressful, equality of life, now and in the future.