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Designing for Human-Robot Interaction with Prof. Holly Yanco

Holly Yanco headshot

  • Prof. HOLLY YANCO, UMass–Lowell
  • Wed. Ap. 12, 2017, at 6:30pm
  • LaCava Center Room 325, Bentley University, Waltham MA 02452
  • Please register. It helps our hosts to plan.


    Robots navigating in difficult and dynamic environments often need assistance from human operators or supervisors, either in the form of tele operation or interventions when the robot’s autonomy can not handle the current situation. Even in more controlled environments, such as office buildings and manufacturing floors, robots may need help from people. This talk will discuss the best practices for controlling both individual robots and groups of robots, in applications ranging from assistive technology to telepresence to search and rescue. A number of methods for human-robot interaction with robot systems, including multi-touch devices, software-based operator control units (softOCUs), game controllers, virtual reality headsets, and Google Glass, will be presented.

    Short Bio

    Dr. Holly Yanco is a Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Computer Science, and Director of the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, multi-touch computing, interface design, robot autonomy, fostering trust of autonomous systems, evaluation methods for human-robot interaction, and the use of robots in K-12 education to broaden participation in computer science. Yanco’s research has been funded by NSF, including a CAREER Award, ARO, DARPA, DOE-EM, NASA, NIST, Microsoft, and Google. Yanco was the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction and served as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the HRI Conference and Journal from 2013-2016. Yanco has a PhD in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Event Schedule
    6:30 – 7:00 Networking over pizza and beverages
    7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
    8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking

    Interested in sponsoring BostonCHI?  Let us know!

    Monthly Sponsors

    BostonCHI is sponsoring pizza.

    BostonCHI logo

    VitaminT is sponsoring dessert.

    Getting There

    Enter the Bentley campus from Forest Road; turn left and park in the lot opposite the Conference Center.

    If you use GPS, please verify that your directions lead to the Conference Center.  Otherwise you may end up at the wrong end of campus.

    Bentley Campus map with Conference Center pin


    Building an Industrial Ecosystem: Crafting Optimal Internet of Things (IoT) Interfaces for Automation

    Joe Kenny’s presentation slides are now available.

    We’ve rescheduled — and relocated, to IBM in Cambridge. Please register here, to attend the updated event.

    • Joseph Kenny, Creative Director, User Experience at GE Digital – Manufacturing Software
    • Monday, April 3, 2017 at 6:30pm
    • IBM Thomas J Watson Research Center, 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142

    View Map

    Continue reading Building an Industrial Ecosystem: Crafting Optimal Internet of Things (IoT) Interfaces for Automation

    ImagineCare: Empowering Patients with Behavioral Science and Technology

    Presentation slides now available here.

    • Jamie Thomson, Director of Experience Design at Mad*Pow
    • Olga Elizarova, Senior Behavior Change Analyst at Mad*Pow
    • Thursday Feb. 16, 2017 at 6:30pm
    • At Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd, Waltham, MA 02451

    Please register. It helps us and our hosts plan.


    As new sensor technologies began to flood the healthcare market, New Hampshire-based health system Dartmouth-Hitchcock saw an opportunity for a remote health monitoring service that didn’t just throw technology at people, but took a truly human-centered approach. They partnered with Mad*Pow to design ImagineCare – a technical and human system that empowers people to live healthier lives and manage chronic illnesses. This talk will provide a breakdown of the behavioral science framework behind ImagineCare, and a glimpse into how theory was applied in practice. Come hear the story of how Mad*Pow helped shape a wide variety of behavioral levers and design details that add up to a holistic, motivating, personal experience that is now empowering people to better manage their health.

    Short bio of Jamie Thomson

    Jamie Thomson is inspired to change the world through research-driven design. As a Director of Experience Design at Mad*Pow, she helps clients craft a clear vision for the future of their products and services, and then execute on that vision through elegant interaction design and robust information architecture. She takes perverse pleasure in untangling the complexities of the healthcare ecosystem, whether from the patient, payor, or provider perspective. Jamie holds a B.S. in Information Systems and an M.S. in Library and Information Science at Drexel University. Prior to joining Mad*Pow, Jamie built her research and design chops in Philadelphia working at Digitas Health and Messagefirst, working with clients in healthcare, technology and higher education. When not busy analyzing or designing something, Jamie can be found outdoors cycling or skiing, or indoors playing board games and making craft cocktails.

    Short Bio of Olga Elizarova

    Olga Elizarova has a DDS degree from Samara State Medical University in Russia. A long and winding road drove her from dentistry and clinical work, to pursuing a graduate degree in public health from Brown University. Olga ended up exactly where she’s meant to be, working in the Digital Health and Behavior Change space as a Senior Behavior Change Analyst at Mad*Pow. It was her curiosity that drove Olga to the world of design. Once she stepped foot into the world of design, there was no turning back. She is passionate about improving people’s experiences with technology by designing solutions that make a difference and might possibly save lives.

    Thank you to our generous sponsors. Interested in sponsoring BostonCHI? Let us know!

    Constant Contact is hosting us.

    Mad*Pow is sponsoring pizza.

    VitaminT is sponsoring dessert.