Leila Takayama

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Award-winning Researcher Who Specializes in Human-Robot Interaction; MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovator under 35; One of 100 Most Creative People in Business, Fast Company; Vice President of Human-Robot Interaction and Design, Robust.ai; Associate Professor of Computational Media, University of California, Santa Cruz

Biography

Leila Takayama, Ph.D., is a human-robot interaction researcher who is passionate about taking a more human-centered approach to the design of robotic systems. With a background in cognitive science, psychology, and human-computer interaction, she examines human encounters with telepresence and increasingly autonomous technologies. Her research has been published in more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, top-tier journals and at conferences. Her work has been covered by the BBC, NPR, Wired and Fast Company. She has given invited talks for groups such as TEDx, IEEE, NASA, Pop!Tech, and Falling Walls.

Dr. Takayama is an associate professor in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. She is also VP of Human-Robot Interaction and Design at Robust.ai. At Hoku Labs, she consults tech companies and non-profit organizations, helping them make more data-driven decisions about how to design and deploy autonomous products and services, including autonomous cars, service robots, home robots, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the ocean, and more.

Beyond her academic work, Takayama led user-experience research for Project Wing and other robotics projects at Google X. At Willow Garage, she led and managed a team that worked on the design of PR2 (a mobile manipulation research robot), the Beam telepresence robots, and ROS (the open-source robot operating system). She has served as a World Economic Forum Global Futures Council Member and Young Global Leader. In 2015, she was presented the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Early Career Award. In 2012, she was named a TR35 winner and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company.

Dr. Takayama received her B.A.s in cognitive science and psychology from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in communication from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University.

Leila Takayama is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

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Takayama, Leila

Biography

Leila Takayama, Ph.D., is a human-robot interaction researcher who is passionate about taking a more human-centered approach to the design of robotic systems. With a background in cognitive science, psychology, and human-computer interaction, she examines human encounters with telepresence and increasingly autonomous technologies. Her research has been published in more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, top-tier journals and at conferences. Her work has been covered by the BBC, NPR, Wired and Fast Company. She has given invited talks for groups such as TEDx, IEEE, NASA, Pop!Tech, and Falling Walls.

Dr. Takayama is an associate professor in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. She is also VP of Human-Robot Interaction and Design at Robust.ai. At Hoku Labs, she consults tech companies and non-profit organizations, helping them make more data-driven decisions about how to design and deploy autonomous products and services, including autonomous cars, service robots, home robots, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the ocean, and more.

Beyond her academic work, Takayama led user-experience research for Project Wing and other robotics projects at Google X. At Willow Garage, she led and managed a team that worked on the design of PR2 (a mobile manipulation research robot), the Beam telepresence robots, and ROS (the open-source robot operating system). She has served as a World Economic Forum Global Futures Council Member and Young Global Leader. In 2015, she was presented the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Early Career Award. In 2012, she was named a TR35 winner and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company.

Dr. Takayama received her B.A.s in cognitive science and psychology from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in communication from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University.

Leila Takayama is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Toward a More Human-Centered Future of Robotics

Robots are no longer only in outer space, in factory cages, or in our imaginations. We interact with robotic agents when withdrawing cash from bank ATMs, driving cars with adaptive cruise control, and tuning our smart home thermostats. In the moment of those interactions with robotic agents, we behave in ways that do not necessarily align with the rational belief that robots are just plain machines. Through a combination of controlled experiments and field studies, Leila Takayama uses theories and concepts from the social sciences to explore ways that human and robotic agents come together, including how people interact with personal robots and how people interact through telepresence robots. With her audiences, Takayama explores topics and raises questions about the psychology of human-robot interaction and how we could invent a future of more human-centered robotics that we actually want to live in.

Designing Remote Presence for Human Connection and Exploration

As people speculate about what the future of robots in the workplace will look like, this could be a good time to realize we already live in that future. We actually know a lot about what it’s like to telecommute to work every day via telepresence robot. Coming from a human-robot interaction perspective, Leila Takayama presents her research lessons learned from several years of fielding telepresence robot prototypes in companies and running controlled experiments in the lab to figure out how to better support remote collaboration between people. Building upon that work, she will share some recent research on professional robot operators, including service robot operators, drone pilots, and deep-sea robot operators. Finally, she will share her current research on identifying needs and opportunities for designing robotic systems that can better support robotic systems with humans in-the-loop.

Additional topics include:

  • Telepresence robots in office and home spaces
  • More human-centered design of ocean robot systems
  • Robot wranglers as a new category of workers

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