Project Title: Robots are here to help: How interactions via telepresence and human service robots allow home- and hospital- bound populations to maintain social connections and have experiences that contribute to improved health outcomes
Veronica Newhart, PhD, is the principal investigator on a Clinical Translational Science project that explores the use of interactive technologies (e.g., telepresence robots) to establish or augment social connectedness for improved health, academic, and social outcomes. As part of this project, she is currently conducting an on-going, national, multi-case study that explores the use of telepresence robots by children. Her interdisciplinary research sits at the intersection of Health, Human-Centered Computing, Robot-Mediated Presence, and Child Development. Her research explores how technology-mediated communications and experiences contribute to increased social connectedness, positive human relationships, accessibility, and improved health outcomes. She is excited to be exploring the addition of a hand feature to facilitate human computer (HCI) and human robot (HRI) interaction for children in the Cognitive Anteater Robotics Lab (CARL) lab with the Toyota Human Service Robot (HSR). Her recent and on-going studies explore the design features that matter in the robot-mediated presence of children, technology-mediated human development, and interdisciplinary collaborations that are needed to further this work at the human-technology frontier.