Human Interaction with Small Flying Robots


Wednesday, January 27, 2016
 2:00-3:30 PM
Location: ENVD2, The Garage
ABSTRACT: Advances in microelectronics have enabled the design of a new class of robots with the ability to fly, ranging from consumer-grade quadcopters to NASA robots developed for the International Space Station. While such robots have captured public imagination, designing a robot that can fly does not necessarily produce a robot that is safe or useful for working with or near people. In this talk, I will discuss the promise of developing small flying robots that may act as collaborators in human environments and detail safety and usability challenges that stand in the way of this goal. I will then outline a design space for considering flying robots from a human-centered perspective and discuss several laboratory experiments that demonstrate the utility of this model in helping us overcome these challenges. In the course of this work, I have developed several empirically validated design prototypes that improve objective metrics of collaboration and user experiences when working with flying robots.
BIO: Daniel Szafir is an Assistant Professor within the ATLAS Institute and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His work explores how we can leverage emerging interactive technologies, including small flying robots, wearable devices, and immersive virtual environments, to provide new forms of assistance to users in domains including collaborative work, education, and space exploration. His research support has included NASA, Google, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. His work been featured in several media outlets, including New Scientist, Engadget, and Discovery News. More information can be found on his website:
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