It was one of the best kinds of brainstorming sessions: sharing ideas on how to enhance the quality of life, particularly for the elderly and disabled. Experts on how technology can play a role gathered for the First International Symposium on Quality of Life Technology, June 30-July 1.
Among the topics that were addressed: assistive robotics, safe driving technology, human awareness technology, mobility aids and privacy issues.
Takeo Kanade, Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science and robotics and director of the Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLTC), said he hopes QoLT researchers will come to regard the annual symposium as a premier opportunity to share their latest ideas and engage in open discussion.
"The need for technology to enable people to live independently is only increasing as societies worldwide grow older and as the number of people with disabilities increases," Kanade said. "Focusing technology on the needs of these people is a timely challenge for society as a whole and particularly for those of us who are scientists, engineers and clinicians."
Speakers at the inaugural meeting included Margaret Giannini, director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Disability; Isao Shimoyama, professor in the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Technology, and Alan Jette, director of the Health & Disability Research Institute at Boston University.
The QoLTC is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center operated jointly by Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. Read more about the center's achievements.
Pictured: Trinetra projectconceived by Priya Narasimhan, bringingaffordable mobile-assisted technology for the disabled