NSF-JST workshop on Human-Robot Interaction


This week, Willow Garage hosted an NSF and JST supported workshop on Human-Robot Interaction, organized by Cynthia Breazeal (MIT), Fumihide Tanaka (University of Tsukuba), Brian Scassellati (Yale), and Leila Takayama (Willow Garage). We brought together researchers from the United States and Japan to establish and strengthen international collaboration across the Pacific, focusing upon remote presence.


Over two days, we shared our latest research, toured robotics research companies and Stanford labs, and discussed the future of remote presence. Our work covered a variety of robots, ranging from androids to mobile remote presence systems to humanoid robots to table-top expressive robots. It also cut across many industries, including education, healthcare and medical settings, socially assistive robotics, and geographically distributed work. By identifying common interests, fruitful application domains, and potential benefits and issues in the area of remote presence, we created some common ground for collaboration and a commitment to see these ideas through to development.


As a bonus, we also hosted a group of undergraduate students and post-doctoral researchers from Brown University's Robotics, Learning, and Autonomy Lab. They showed us their ROS-controlled quadrotor helicopter and flew it around the office. They also participated in a technical tour of Willow Garage, learned how to bring up a PR2 with ROS, and checked out our latest research and development demos.

All in all, it was a great couple of days for us. Thanks to everyone who came to Menlo Park to participate and made this such a collegial, engaging, inspiring workshop!