RIVeR Lab is planning to advise the following IQPs (Interactive Qualifying Projects) for the 2015-16 academic year. If you are interested in any of these projects please contact Professor Padir, tpadir@wpi.edu.

2016 WPI RoboEthics Symposium

This IQP is on planning the 2016 WPI Roboethics Symposium. DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals will feature 25 teams from all around the world. Even though the challenge is on designing robot hardware and software for disaster response, what are the ethical issues around the dual use of technology? FAA recently selected 6 aerial vehicle test sites in the United States. Are there privacy and security issues with personal use of drones? In 2014, the SmartAmerica Challenge organized by Presidential Innovation Fellows featured several projects on healthcare and patient monitoring. What are the ethical issues surrounding smart technologies in elder care. In 2010, we hosted the 1st WPI RoboEthics Symposium (http://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-042510-210828/). It is now time to continue the dialogue.

Creating a Research Roadmap for Robotics for Advanced Response to Epidemics (RARE)

Motivated by the fact that the 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history, there is a pressing need to understand how to improve clinical care, logistical support, and situational awareness during epidemics. This IQP will build on our lessons learned from the Brainstorming Workshops on Safety Robotics for Ebola Workers held on Nov. 7, 2014, and 2015 RSS Workshop on Robotics for Advanced Response to Epidemics (RARE) to be held in July 17, 2015 to create a research and development roadmap for RARE.

User Experience Design for FRASIER

It is projected that in 2030, there will be 4 people for each person over the age of 65. Among these four people, one will be a child, one will be sick and one will be at a distant geographical location. This implies that the ratio of younger adults as caregivers to older adults as individuals in need of care will be 1-to-1 in 2030.  Robotics technologies, the integration of sensing, computation and actuation in the physical world, can be used to transform the capabilities of a person with a disability in performing the activities of daily living. Robots will not replace a human caregiver in near future, however they can provide an extended independent living for older adults or individuals with physical and mental disabilities as personal assistants or companions, and hence, improve the quality of life for humans. This IQP will investigate the acceptability and user perception for new robot technologies for assisting persons with general and age-related disabilities and create a user experience design for WPI’s personal assistance robot, FRASIER (Fostering Resilient Aging with Self-efficacy and Independence Enabling Robot).