Public Release: 

USC computer scientist to explain socially intelligent robots on Feb. 17

At a prestigious science conference in Boston, Maja Matarić will discuss how robots with social and assistive skills could improve wellness and help people with special needs

University of Southern California

WHAT: A University of Southern California computer scientist will present her research on socially assistive robots on Friday, Feb. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston.

These robots are designed to improve the life span health of stroke patients, children with autism and people with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

Matarić's Interaction Lab at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering allows computer scientists, roboticists and human-machine interaction researchers to create socially assistive robots who can fill a health care gap: help people be less lonely, perform rehabilitative exercises and wellness activities, and learn social behaviors.

Without physically touching people, socially assistive robots will develop long-term relationships to supplement -- not replace -- human caregivers or teachers. They will decipher user's emotions, body language and social cues so they can tailor their interaction to the needs and moods of individuals.


WHO: Maja Matarić, professor and holder of the Chan Soon-Shiong chair in computer science, neuroscience and pediatrics at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 17

  • Flash presentation: 10:30-10:45 a.m. EST in room 308 at the Hynes Convention Center: "Socially Assistive Robotics: Creating Robots That (Provide) Care"
  • News briefing: 11-11:45 a.m. EST in room 103 at the Hynes Convention Center: "Robots and Cyber Systems to Keep the Elderly Active"
  • Symposium: 1-2:30 p.m. EST in room 309 at the Hynes Convention Center: "Assistive and Rehabilitative Robotics"

WHERE: John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center at 900 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02115

The news briefing from 11-11:45 a.m. EST will be live streamed at

Time is limited. RSVP to Zen Vuong at or (213) 300-1381 for one-on-one interviews with Matarić.

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