The comedy and social lives of robots featured at Corvallis Science Pub


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Robots will increasingly rub shoulders with people at home and in the work place,so machines need social attributes: humor, personality and body language.

At the Corvallis Science Pub on January 8, Heather Knight will discuss her work on interactions between humans and robots. Science Pub begins at 6 p.m. in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis and is free and open to the public.

“Machines that fail to interact appropriately with people run the risk of becoming irritating and unwelcome,” says Knight, an assistant professor of computer science at Oregon State University. “However, when personality and charm are added, functional machines can not only empower people, they can engage, inspire, improve performance and foster bonds with their human partners.”

Knight has worked at NASA and the MIT Media Lab where she designed a sensate skin for a teddy bear. She explores the ways psychology, expressive emotion, behavior system design and art influence the positive evolution of charismatic technology.

Podcasts of previous Corvallis Science Pub events on topics such as the roadside geology of Oregon and the bond between people and dogs are available at http://communications.oregonstate.edu/podcast.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

College of Engineering

About the OSU College of Engineering: The OSU College of Engineering is among the nation's largest and most productive engineering programs. Since 1999, the college has more than tripled its research expenditures to $37.2 million by emphasizing highly collaborative research that solves global problems. It is a leader in signature research areas, including precision health, clean energy, resilient infrastructure and advanced manufacturing; and targeted strategic areas, including robotics, materials research and clean water.