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The Healthcare Robotics Lab at UC San Diego is led by Dr. Laurel Riek and explores the computational, engineering, and sociotechnical aspects of human-robot teaming in safety-critical, dynamic, complex environments, including hospitals and homes.

Our recent work focuses on designing new methods to support how robots can personalize their behavior with co-located humans by exploring new research directions in perception, coordination dynamics, and long term learning. Our primary focus area is healthcare, with recent work in neurorehabilitation, dementia caregiving, emergency medicine, and telemedicine. We are committed to supporting health equity by teaming with community partners to researching upstream health interventions.

Here is an overview of the four main themes of basic research we do, which all inform the goal of building personalized robots for diverse stakeholders:

   • Machine Perception, How can a machine understand people / objects / the environment? What are people doing now, and what will they be doing next? How robots can understand/predict activities in complex spaces with limited information.

   • Coordination and Teaming, How can robots coordinate their activities with people? How does a robot respond at the right time, in the right way? How can a robot afford fluency and contingency.

   • Long term Learning, How can robots learn from and adapt people over time? What are their preferences, how can they be inferred and learned? How can robots support engagement and trust?

   • Health Research and Design, How can we best engage key stakeholders to improve human health and wellness? How might we best co-design technologies, interventions, and delivery systems? How can we make technologies accessible and adaptable to people with disabilities, clinicians, and community members? How can we further health equity?

Each of these research themes contribute to work across multiple disciplines, including: robotics, human-robot interaction, public health, healthcare engineering, computer vision, machine learning, and design.

Our lab engages in algorithm design, systems engineering, robot building, and ecological experimentation in real-world settings. In healthcare, we explore problems in acute care, neurorehabilitation, gerontology, medical education, and public health.