News

2017

Hae Won Park and our Tel Aviv collaborators Rinat Rosenberg-Kima, Maor Rosenberg, and Goren Gordon won a Best Paper Award at HRI 2017. The paper, Growing Growth Mindset with a Social Robot Peer can be found here: park_HRI17
Our backchanneling robot video submitted by Mirko Gelsomini, Hae Won Park, and Jin Joo Lee at HRI 2017 took second runner-up in the Best Video Award competition. The video can be found here.
Check out Ishaan Grover and Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar! They were featured in MIT News for their winning remote-control hack in the Assistive Technology hackathon. MIT students hack assistive technology solutions…
Jacqueline Kory Westlund wrote about children’s relationships with social robots on the ML Learning blog: Making new (robot) friends!
Stefania Druga and Randi Williams describe their study exploring children’s interactions with and perceptions of AI on the Media Lab Medium Page: Kids, AI devices, and intelligent toys.
Paper accepted! Jacqueline M. Kory Westlund, Sooyeon Jeong, Hae Won Park, Samuel Ronfard, Ara Adhikari, Paul L. Harris, David DeSteno, & Cynthia Breazeal. Flat versus expressive storytelling: young children’s learning and retention of a social robot’s narrative. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
Jin Joo Lee successfully defends her dissertation: A Bayesian Theory of Mind Approach to Nonverbal Communication for Human-Robot Interactions. Congrats Jin Joo!
Paper accepted! Jacqueline M. Kory Westlund, Leah Dickens, Sooyeon Jeong, Paul L. Harris, David DeSteno, & Cynthia Breazeal. Children use non-verbal cues to learn new words from robots as well as people. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction.
Paper accepted! Stefania Druga*, Randi Williams*, Mitchel Resnick, & Cynthia Breazeal. “Hey Google, is it OK if I Eat You?”: Initial Explorations in Child-Agent Interaction. ACM SIGCHI Interaction Design and Children 2017.
Sooyeon Jeong and Yasmin Chavez (one of our undergraduate students!) were selected to participate in the 12th annual HRI Pioneers Workshop, a highly selective workshop and premier venue designed to empower innovators early in their careers and foster collaboration across human-robot interaction. Sooyeon’s paper, “Toward Robotic Companions that Enhance Psychological Wellbeing with Smartphone Technology” was selected through a competitive independent review process.
Hae Won Park has been promoted from postdoc to Research Scientist!

2016

Nick de Palma successfully defends his dissertation: Bidirectional gaze guiding and indexing in human-robot interaction through a situated robotic architecture. Yay Nick!
Two papers accepted to HRI 2017!
Hae Won Park, Rinat Rosenberg-Kima, Maor Rosenberg, Goren Gordon, and Cynthia Breazeal, “Growing Growth Mindset with a Social Robot Peer”
Hae Won Park, Mirko Gelsomini, Jin Joo Lee, and Cynthia Breazeal, “Telling Stories to Robots: The Effect of Backchanneling On A Child’s Storytelling.”
Meet the ML Learning Innovation Fellows, starring our own Jacqueline Kory Westlund as one of the inaugural fellows!
Sooyeon Jeong presented her work on Interactive Journaling at the 4th International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction in Singapore (HAI 2016)!
We welcome five new Master’s students to the group: Huili Chen, Ishaan Grover, Pedro Reynolds-Cueller, Nikhita Singh, and Randi Williams!
Jacqueline Kory Westlund and Hae Won Park ran a successful Workshop on Long-Term Child-Robot Interaction at the IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)! The program included speakers Jill Lehman from Disney Research, Fumihide Tanaka from the University of Tsukuba, and Tony Belpaeme from Plymouth University, along with six contributed papers, and a lively discussion session!
Sooyeon Jeong, Jacqueline Kory Westlund, and Mirko Gelsomini presented their work at the IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)!
Palash Nandy completed his Master’s Thesis!
MIT News reports on the Curious Learning global literacy project: Can technology help teach literacy in poor communities?
Jacqueline Kory Westlund, Hae Won Park, and Mirko Gelsomini shared our robots and research with hundreds of people at the 2016 Cambridge Science Festival’s Robot Zoo!
Several other news sites, including Science Daily and Eurek Alert, have picked up the story on our recent NSF project on socially assistive robots for children’s early education.
Hae Won Park, Jacqueline Kory Westlund, and Nick dePalma presented their work at the 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2016)!
Paper accepted! Jacqueline Kory Westlund, Goren Gordon, Sam Spaulding, Jin Joo Lee, Luke Plummer, Marayna Martinez, Madhurima Das, & Cynthia Breazeal. Lessons From Teachers on Performing HRI Studies with Young Children in Schools. Proceedings of the 11th ACM/IEEE Conference on Human-Robot Interaction – alt.HRI track (HRI 2016).
Jacqueline Kory Westlund was selected to participate in the the eleventh annual HRI Pioneers Workshop, a highly selective workshop and premier venue designed to empower innovators early in their careers and foster collaboration across human-robot interaction. Jacqueline’s paper, “Transparency, Teleoperation, and Children’s Understanding of Social Robots” was selected through a competitive independent review process.
Mirko Gelsomini joins the group as a visiting student for a year!

2015

We received an NIH grant to fund our work around creating autonomous, long-term social robot companions for children. This one will focus on promoting and assessing curiosity and a growth mindset!
Paper accepted! Goren Gordon, Sam Spaulding, Jacqueline Kory Westlund, Jin Joo Lee, Luke Plummer, Marayna Martinez, Madhurima Das, & Cynthia Breazeal. Affective Personalization of a Social Robot Tutor for Children’s Second Language Skills. Proceedings of the 30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2016).
Jin Joo Lee and Palash Nandy were featured in the IT World article MIT Media Lab celebrates 30 years of innovation!
Hae Won Park joins the group as our new postdoc!
Language Magazine covers our work on language learning with social robots!
Jacqueline Kory Westlund gave two talks on our work on social robots in education at New Friends 2015: The 1st International Conference on Social Robots in Therapy and Education.
Phillipp Robbel successfully defended his PhD dissertation on Local Multiagent Control in Large Factored Planning Problems!
The IEEE Automaton Blog covered some of our recent work on Socially Assistive Robotics with the Dragonbot platform, plus a sneak peek at our latest robot, Tega
Jacqueline Kory Westlund, Palash Nandy, and others shared our robots and research with hundreds of people at the 2015 Cambridge Science Festival’s Robot Zoo!
Jacqueline Kory Westlund received the Best Video Award at HRI 2015 for her video Telling Stories with Green the DragonBot: A Showcase of Children’s Interactions Over Two Months. Watch it here!
Goren presented his paper on Curious Robots at HRI 2015: Goren Gordon, Cynthia Breazeal and Susan Engel, Can children catch curiosity from a social robot?.
Goren Gordon, Jacqueline Kory Westlund, Sooyeon Jeong, Palash Nandy, and Sam Spaulding presented posters and attended workshops at the 10th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2015)!
Sam Spaulding was selected to participate in the the tenth annual HRI Pioneers Workshop, a highly selective workshop and premier venue designed to empower innovators early in their careers and foster collaboration across human-robot interaction. Sam’s paper, “Affect and Inference in Bayesian Knowledge Tracing with a Robot Tutor” was selected through a competitive independent review process.

2014

The Cuddliest Computers Of The Classroom: Teaching Robots – CNN covered our social robotic learning/teaching companions! We talked with them about our work with both the DragonBot and with Huggable.
Teddy tech: Rise of MIT’s robot care bear Huggable – BBC Scotland covers Huggable, our robot companion developed for children in hospitals.
PRG students and postdocs attended the 2014 Northeast Robotics Colloquium, where they showed off our newest robot, Tega!
Paper accepted! Cynthia Breazeal, Paul Harris, David DeSteno, Jacqueline Kory, Leah Dickens, & Sooyeon Jeong. Young children treat robots as informants. Topics in Cognitive Science.
Jacqueline Kory completed her Master’s Thesis! Title: Storytelling with robots: Effects of robot language level on children’s language learning.
Jacqueline Kory presented her paper Storytelling with Robots: Learning Companions for Preschool Children’s Language Development at the IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN).
Sigurður Örn successfully defended his PhD Dissertation! Mind-Theoretic Planning for Social Robots.
Kindergarten bots teach language to tots – Hal Hodson of the New Scientist wrote an article on our education robots!
PRG students and postdocs attended the 2014 World Science Festival in NYC, where we showed off our robots to over a thousand people in the “Ultimate Science Street Fair.”
Jacqueline Kory and David Nuñez showed off robots and research to hundreds of people at the 2014 Cambridge Science Festival’s Robot Zoo!
Sam Spaulding presented work done at Yale about Personalizing Robot Tutors to Individuals’ Learning Differences at the 9th ACM/IEEE Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2014).
Goren Gordon, Jacqueline Kory, Jin Joo Lee, David Nuñez, and Sam Spaulding presented research during various workshops at the 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2014).
Two new postdocs, Michal Gordon and Goren Gordon, have joined us!
Palash Nandy becomes the latest student to join the PRG ranks.

2013

Brad Knox Named to IEEE Artificial Intelligence’s 10 To Watch.
Paper accepted! Jin Joo Lee, W. Bradley Knox, Jolie Wormwood, Cynthia Breazeal, & Dave DeSteno. Computationally Modeling Interpersonal Trust. Frontiers in Psychology.
W. Bradley Knox, Cynthia Breazeal, and Peter Stone. Training a Robot via Human Feedback: A Case Study. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR). Best Paper Award.
PRG students and postdocs shared their research at the 2013 Northeast Robotics Colloquium.
PRG students showed off robots and research to hundreds of people at the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival’s Robot Zoo!
Sam Spaulding was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support 3 years of graduate research in Robotics and A.I.
Brad Knox joins the group as a new postdoc.
Paper accepted! Cynthia Breazeal, Nick DePalma, Jeff Orkin, Sonia Chernova, & Malte Jung. Crowdsourcing Human-Robot Interaction: New Methods and System Evaluation in a Public Environment. Journal of Human-Robot Interaction.

2012

Jesse Gray and Cynthia Breazeal.  Manipulating Mental States through Physical Action.  In Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR). Best Paper Award.
PRG students and postdocs attended the 2012 Northeast Robotics Colloquium!
Two new master’s students, Jacqueline Kory and David Nuñez, have joined the group.
Jacqueline Kory was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support 3 years of graduate research in Robotics and A.I.

2010

Sigurdur Orn Adalgeirsson. Mebot, a robotic platform for socially embodied telepresence. In Proceedings of the fifth ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Best Paper Nomination.

2009

Siegel, M., Breazeal, C., Norton, M.I. “Persuasive Robotics: The influence of robot gender on human behavior,” Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Best paper nomination.

Stiehl, W. Chang, A., Wistort,R., Breazeal, C. “The Robotic Preschool of the Future: New Technologies for Learning and Play”, Finalist in the Como 4 Children Competition at Interaction Design for Children.

2008

G. Hoffman, R. Kubat, and C. Breazeal. “A hybrid control system for puppeteering a live robotic stage actor.” Proceedings of the 17th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) Best Cognitive Robotics Paper 
MDS: Time Magazine “50 best inventions of 2008“.
MDS: Best in Show Prize at Siggraph 2008 New Tech Demos.

2007

AUR:  International Robot Design Competition: Gold Prize. IEEE Ro-Man 2007.

Kismet: NTF Award. Finalist for Entertainment Robots and Systems. IROS 2007

G. Hoffman and C. Breazeal.  “Effects of Anticipatory Action on Human-robot Teamwork: Efficiency, Fluency, and Perception of Team.”  In ACM/IEEE international conference on Human-robot interaction (HRI). Best Student Paper.

2006

Huggable: “€10k Robots at Play Prize 2006″.

Leo: Wired Magazine 50 greatest robots ever.

A. L. Thomaz, G. Hoffman and C. Breazeal.  “Experiments in Socially Guided Machine Learning: Understanding Human Intent of Reward/Punishment.” In ACM/IEEE international conference on Human-robot interaction (HRI). Best Short Paper.

2005

A. G. Brooks, J. Gray, G. Hoffman, A. Lockerd, H. Lee and C. Breazeal. “Robot’s play: interactive games with sociable machines.” In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI international Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology. Outstanding Paper Commendation.

Stiehl,W. & Breazeal, C. “Design of a Therapeutic Robotic Companion for Relational, Affective Touch,” In Proceedings of Fourteenth IEEE Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man). Best Paper Award.

Huggable: Microsoft iCampus Grant

2003-2004

CyberFlora: Featured at the National Design Triennial (April 2003 – January 2004)

1999

Breazeal, C. and Scassellati, B. “How to build robots that make friends and influence people”. Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). NTF Outstanding Paper Award.