Researchers from Vanderbilt University and The Ohio State University are teaming up to develop next-generation robotic technology that can help older adults living with forms of dementia through a grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health.
The five-year grant, totaling $3.13 million, will support research and development of robotic framework and methodologies that encourage social interaction among older adults in long term care (LTC) facilities like nursing homes and independent or assisted living facilities.
The research will be conducted jointly with Lorraine Mion, professor of nursing at The Ohio State University and former Independence Foundation Professor in Nursing at the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. The multidisciplinary team includes engineers, nurses, physicians, and health services researchers from Vanderbilt and Ohio State.
The project is part of a brand new funding mechanism from the National Science Foundation called the NSFConvergence Accelerator (C-Accel). This mechanism is designed to rapidly advance innovation in the areas of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas initiative.
Sarkar’s project aims to address the significant challenge of barriers to employment for people on the autism spectrum. The project has been awarded $1M in Phase 1, which spans 9 months beginning in September 2019.
Deeksha–RASL’s newest graduate student–presented a paper entitled “Design of a Novel Web Utility that Provides Multi-lingual Word Definitions for Child E-Book Applications” .
RASL alum Zhi Zheng was also in attendance at the conference, allowing for a brief reunion.
Joshua chaired two of the conference sessions this year: Language Learning Technologies on Tuesday, July 30 and Technologies for ASD – 2 on Wednesday, July 31. In addition Joshua presented three papers [1,3,4]. A full list of the lab members’ presentations is given below.
Adiani D. et al. (2019) Usability Enhancement and Functional Extension of a Digital Tool for Rapid Assessment of Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Toddlers Based on Pilot Test and Interview Data. In: Antona M., Stephanidis C. (eds) Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Multimodality and Assistive Environments. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11573. Springer, Cham
Adiani D. et al. (2019) Design of a Novel Web Utility that Provides Multi-lingual Word Definitions for Child E-Book Applications. In: Zaphiris P., Ioannou A. (eds) Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Ubiquitous and Virtual Environments for Learning and Collaboration. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11591. Springer, Cham
Nie G., Ullal A., Swanson A.R., Weitauf A.S., Warren Z.E., Sarkar N. (2019) Design of an Intelligent and Immersive System to Facilitate the Social Interaction Between Caregivers and Young Children with Autism. In: Antona M., Stephanidis C. (eds) Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Multimodality and Assistive Environments. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11573. Springer, Cham
Sarkar N., Zheng Z.K. (2019) Design and Validation of a Tremor Stabilizing Handle for Patients with Parkinson Disease and Essential Tremor. In: Duffy V. (eds) Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management. Healthcare Applications. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11582. Springer, Cham
Schmidt M. et al. (2019) A Simple Web Utility for Automatic Speech Quantification in Dyadic Reading Interactions. In: Zaphiris P., Ioannou A. (eds) Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Ubiquitous and Virtual Environments for Learning and Collaboration. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11591. Springer, Cham
RASL Director Nilanjan Sarkar is the new chair of the department of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Sarkar accepted the position of chair beginning in the Spring semester 2018, following the distinguished tenure of Dr. Robert Pitz, who served as department chair for 18 years. More details are available here.
Congratulations to Lian Zhang who successfully defended her dissertation on April 20! Lian’s work on collaborative virtual environments and artificial intelligence has led to a number of publications. Lian has accepted a position at Facebook and will begin work there in May.
In August, a new Vanderbilt-led initiative entitled the “Vanderbilt Initiative for Autism, Innovation, and the Workforce” launched with a primary goal of facilitating the transition of adolescents with Autism into stable paid employment. This past Friday, the new group hosted a University-wide symposium to discuss a range of Autism-related research going on at Vanderbilt.