Scheutz and Tickle-Degnen Receive NSF Grant for Co-Robot Mediators

Professor Matthias Scheutz and co-PI Linda Tickle-Degnen , Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy , received funding from the National Science Foundation's Division of Information and Intelligent Systems. In collaboration with Professor Ronald Arkin at Georgia Tech College of Computing, the work will produce an architecture for a co-robot mediator for people with "facial masking" due to Parkinson's Disease (PD). PD reduces patients' ability to signal emotion and intentions to their caregivers and health care providers who often misinterpret the lack of expressions as disinterest and an inability to adhere to treatment regimen, resulting in stigmatization. The project also includes novel educational efforts such as a course in occupational therapy robotics, as well as significant K-12 outreach through the Tufts Center for STEM Diversity and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO).

Their work was featured in an October 23, 2013 NSF press release.