Image Credit: Fast Company
Cynthia Breazeal is a pioneer of the robotics field, and specializes in human-like expressions on robots and social exchanges between humans and humanoid robots. Cynthia is both an Associate Professor at MIT - where she received a PhD and founded the Personal Robotics Group - and the founder and Chief Scientist of Jibo, a robotics company that creates robots to be used as human personal assistants. The company, though founded as recently as 2016, already has $85 million in funding.
“I wanted to create robots with social and emotional intelligence that could work in collaborative partnership with people. In 2-5 years, I see social robots helping families with things that really matter, like education, health, eldercare, entertainment, and companionship.”
“[Robots should be created] not only with smarts, but with heart, too.”
Allison Okamura, born in Fontana, California, is an extremely influential figure in the diverse field of haptics. She was one of the guest speakers at the 2017 SAILORS banquet, where she talked about how haptics incorporated in robotics could help improve current surgical procedures and benefit the medical field. She received her bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley, her master's and PhD degrees from Stanford in mechanical engineering, and is now the head of the CHARM Lab at Stanford. Professor Okamura has won countless IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) awards, and is working on developing new haptic technology such as the vinebot.
"The science and technology of haptics is about creating an interface where you can really interact in a profound way with [haptic] devices"
"All the research we do in technology has served to me to impress upon the amazing emotion and personality of the human sense of touch"