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BostonTalks Series

BostonTalks: Robots

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Join BostonTalks to hear how our vision for robotic helpers, companions, and cyborgs is creeping towards a reality. Three speakers share their knowledge of robotic tech. Sam Spaulding, a doctoral student at MIT Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group works to design and program robots that can understand and react to humans. Joelle Renstrom, a science writer for the Daily Beast and a professor at Boston University focuses on artificial intelligence and space exploration. Nadia Cheng is the head of operations at RightHand Robotics and works to bring robots to the workplace. Learn more about this event and future BostonTalks here: [WGBH Events](https://www.wgbh.org/event/bostontalks-robots "WGBH Events") Image: Pexels.com

Sam Spaulding is a doctoral student in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. With teams at Yale University, Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, and Jibo Inc., he has helped develop some of the world's most advanced interactive social robots, capable of perceiving, understanding, and adapting to human emotions. His research has been presented at numerous international conferences and has been recognized by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a Human-Robot Interaction Pioneers award, and research grants from the Mellon Fund and Sigma Xi scientific society. Outside of robotics, he is an unrepentant trivia nerd and has appeared on Jeopardy! and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and likes to spend his free time reading, doing fun physical activities, playing board games, and making lists.
Joelle Renstrom is a robot columnist for the Daily Beast, a regular contributor to Astrobiology, and a staff writer for Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. Her science writing has appeared in Slate, Aeon, New Scientist, and others. Her collection of essays, Closing the Book: Travels in Life, Loss, and Literature, was published in 2015. She teaches writing at Boston University with a focus on space exploration and artificial intelligence.
Nadia Cheng, Head of Operations, has been with RightHand Robotics for almost three years and previously served as the Director of R&D at Empire Robotics (another Boston-based robotics startup). Nadia received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. At MIT, Nadia's research focused on developing squishy robots. She was also a National Defense Science and Engineering Research Fellow and has worked at the MIT Media Lab. Nadia has publications in robotics, air traffic management, tangible user interfaces, and nature-inspired cocktail garnishes, and has also worked in areas including medical devices, assistive technologies, and 3D printing.