Robot-Assisted Feeding: Recent Advances and Future Directions in the Personal Robotics Lab

Abstract: Eating is a personal and intricate task that we perform every day. However, approximately 1.8 million people in the US alone cannot eat without assistance. The ADA (Assistive Dextrous Arm) project in the Personal Robotics Lab (PRL) at UW seeks to address this through a robot-assisted feeding system. In this presentation, I will discuss PRL's recent advances in both the human-robot interaction and autonomous robotics components of assistive feeding, as well as promising future research avenues.

Bio: Taylor Kessler Faulkner is a postdoctoral scholar and UW Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Siddhartha Srinivasa's Personal Robotics Lab at the University of Washington. She graduated from UT Austin in August 2022 with a PhD in Computer Science, where she worked with Prof. Andrea Thomaz in the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab. Taylor's research spans a wide range of human-robot interaction topics but her postdoctoral work focuses on assistive robotics, specifically robot-assisted feeding for people with upper-extremity mobility impairments. She leads the team of students working on the Assistive Dextrous Arm (ADA) project.