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How Psychophysics can Inform what Roboticists Build

Roberta Klatzky
Professor of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University


Newell-Simon Hall 1305 (Michael Mauldin Auditorium)


Behavioral analysis can enter the development of robotic devices at various points: in the initial design, in the design of the system within which a device operates, and in the evaluation of a completed system. My past and present research projects exemplify all of these approaches. I will describe how psychophysical analysis has been useful in the design of vibrotactile feedback systems for tele-manipulation, in developing rehavilitation environments based on off-the-shelf force-feedback robots, and in understanding the capabilities and limitations of haptic and visual displays involving virtual and augmented reality.

Speaker's Bio

Roberta Klatzky is a Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon, where she also holds faculty appointments in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. She served as Head of Psychology from 1993–2003. She received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Stanford University. Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, she was a member of the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Klatzky’s research interests are in human perception and cognition, with special emphasis on haptic perception and spatial cognition. She has done extensive research on haptic and visual object recognition, human navigation under visual and nonvisual guidance, and motor planning. Her work has application to haptic interfaces, navigation aids for the blind, exploratory robotics, teleoperation, and virtual environments. She also has interests in medical decision making.

Professor Klatzky is the author of over 150 articles and chapters, and she has authored or edited 4 books.

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