Nikhita is a graduate researcher in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab where she focuses on designing how humans and robots interact. Her research integrates methodologies from robotics, artificial intelligence, design and human social psychology to develop socially intelligent robots for deployment in human systems.
Over the past few years, Nikhita has worked on a series of projects at the intersection of human-centered design and engineering including: developing a robot storytelling companion for educational use, analyzing learning behaviors of kids using tablets for early literacy education, designing an environmentally friendly delivery system for pesticides to reduce runoff, working with a team to teach science & robotics to child refugees at the US-Mexico border, exploring the optimization of 3D printed casts, and building a robot petting zoo.
Prior to joining the MIT Media Lab, Nikhita worked at Palantir Technologies in North America and Europe, developing novel products for people to interact with data. She holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from UC Berkeley where she conducted research in robotics at the Berkeley Automation Science and Engineering Lab with Dr. Ken Goldberg. Outside of her research, Nikhita volunteers her time developing innovative solutions for disaster relief through the Field Innovation Team.