Service and Personal Robots – Cuddly or Creepy?

Opportunities Related to SAR (Socially Assistive Robotics)


Far beyond sweeping rooms or “echoing” answers to your questions, useful—even necessary –robots that interact with us psychologically are emerging and will grow in a big way, if only driven by the increasing demographic of elderly, disabled or temporarily limited people.  But elegant laboratory demo’s beg the question: can truly useful robots be cost effectively provided for other than the rich, i.e., at prices affordable to large numbers of people or acceptable to insurers or the Government.  Might one solution be a “meals on wheels”-like offering to the elderly where a visiting robot is one of many tele-guided by a remote human controller?  On the other hand, what about robots to teach, watch, and interact with children?


All of these implicate a 2-way psychological dimension in human-robot ecosystems – our reactions to robots and robotic perception of our state of mind.  Unsurprisingly, socially assistive robotics (SAR) has emerged as a field for machines assisting via social interaction where a robot’s physical appearance induces people to engage with it.   Our program will delve into the uniquely different problems and the entrepreneurial opportunities “psycho-active, economically accessible robots” introduce compared to impersonal industrial or service applications.


Keynote Speaker: 


Prof. Maja Mataric

Chan Soon-Shiong Chair in the Computer Science Department, Neuroscience Program, and the Department of Pediatrics

University of Southern California




Ross Mead, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Semio AI, Inc.


Adrian Kaehler, Ph.D.

CEO, Giant.AI Inc.

Author “Learning OpenCV 3”


Nader Hamda






Michael Krieger

Attorney at Law

Willenken Wilson Loh & Delgado LLP

UCLA Computer Science Department


Andy Tomat

Managing Director

Four Pillars, Inc.


Julie-ann Pina

Managing Partner




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