Creating Robots that Interact with People to Assist in Health and Well-being

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1. Project summary (maximum 150 words)

This research project involves the use of robots that can interact and communicate with people to find out new ways that robots can help support and assist people in everyday tasks. A specific area of focus for this research has been in the health and well-being space. Trial areas include with young children to help teach them about healthy eating in a fun way and young adults to help promote the practice of well-being techniques. Other areas include exploring the use of robots for aged care services, such as assisting people to be able to live independently for longer and with daily living tasks. This research project is about finding out how a new technology such as robots can provide a service that is engaging, useful and acceptable to people in a similar way that smartphones and computers can provide personalized and effective services to a large number of people.

2. How does your project benefit Queensland? (maximum 500 words)

This project benefits Queensland by exploring the impact of a new type of technology that can directly help a large amount of people. For instance, the use of a robot that can provide fun and engaging information about healthy eating for children or teach young adults about well-being technique that helps them to deal with stress and tension in their life. This research will help to explore potential areas that will most benefit from the use of a robot and how Queensland might adopt this technology to be able to help improve overall health and well-being.

We want to use robots to assist healthcare professionals so they can focus on more complex and fulfilling work related to their role, such as taking care of patients. We also want to use robots to help engage people to learn more about health and well-being information, techniques and healthy lifestyle choices in a fun and interactive way.

3. What STEM promotion/engagement activities do you do/have you done? (maximum 500 words)

STEM Promotion/Engagement activities include a TedxQUT talk on the future that robotics will play in our cities, Pint of Science! Brisbane on how robotics will enhance the health and well-being field, National Science Week - Lunch with a Scientist to discuss with high-achieving students about robotics as a career, a World Science Festival Brisbane Stage Presentation for young children on what is a robot and how does it work, and a showcase tent at Robotronica to showcase robotics to the general public. Community outreach demonstrations include National Science Week demonstrations for two years in a row and visits to Queensland Schools for a robotics demonstration. Media related outreach includes through television, radio, and print articles (SCOPE TV, ABC, Ch 7&9, IBT, MIT Tech Review, Phys.Org, Gizmodo). I also produce and host a robotics and AI podcast on spotify and iTunes. I am also a Queensland Women in AI mentor.



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