Carnegie Mellon University
April 20, 2020

Admoni Earns NSF CAREER Award

By Virginia Alvino Young

Virginia Alvino Young
  • School of Computer Science

Henny Admoni, an assistant professor in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science's Robotics Institute, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the organization's most prestigious award for young faculty members. The five-year, $550,000 award will support her work on robotic assistive technologies.

Admoni's research combines her expertise in human-robot interaction (HRI) and cognitive psychology to enable those with severe motor impairments to independently navigate daily tasks such as preparing food and eating. Many existing assistive robots are reactive, but Admoni sees that changing. "The next major advance in HRI will involve robots that can proactively anticipate and respond to people's needs, just as an experienced caregiver does," she said.

The NSF award will support Admoni's project investigating how human eye gaze can reveal when and how people need assistance in daily activities. She'll develop assistance algorithms that monitor eye gaze and respond with robot actions, and will perform studies to evaluate those algorithms with users who have upper motor impairments. HRI courses and texts will also be developed.

Admoni holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University, and a joint BA/MA in computer science from Wesleyan University.

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