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Associate Dean Briefs Lawmakers on Assistive Robotics

August 04, 2009 —

Robotics Caucus Briefing July 2009 019
Mataric', center, with Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) standing, and fellow experts Tandy Trower of Microsoft, left, and Howie Choset of CMU.
Viterbi School Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Computer Science Maja Mataric' gave a detailed briefing sponsored by the Congressional Robotics Caucus about the potential for robotics in healthcare.  

She focused on her area of research, socially assistive robotics, and its use for for helping large and growing populations including children with autism, adults recovering from stroke, and elders suffering from chronic conditions.

Use of such robots, Mataric' told the legislators, can reduce health costs, improve health outcomes, provide personalized treatment and efficient monitoring, in a way that she said, is affordable and, — because the robots interact socially, rather than physically — inherently safe.

"It is a great opportunity," she said.

The next Caucus briefing will take place October 15, and deal with possible use of robots in K-12 education.