Prof. Daniela Rus
Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor, Director of CSAIL, EECS, MIT
How Can Technology Enhance Our Ability to Move Safely?
Prof. Daniela Rus
The digitization of practically everything coupled with the mobile Internet, miniaturization, and advanced robotics promises a future with human augmentation using computation and machines. Technology will enable people to extend their abilities. In this talk I will discuss challenges toward using ideas from robotics to create assistive technologies for the visually impaired. What if a small wearable item (for example a belt, a hat, or a pendant) that includes sensors and the ability to compute and communicate can be used to identify the surrounding environment? Using data from its sensors, the system could detect the free space and identify the objects in the surrounding world, pointing out, for example, where is the door, how far to a stair way, or what is the furniture arrangement in the room. What if these descriptions could be communicated to the person wearing the device and translated into safe navigation directions? I will describe our recent results in creating a system for safe navigation for the visually impaired that has some of these features. With assistive technologies for the visually impaired, we can begin to imagine a world where moving safely in the world is possible for everybody.
Daniela Rus is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. Rus’s research interests are in robotics, mobile computing, and big data. Rus is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University.