In this episode, Dr. Peter Dalmaris talks with Kavita Krishnaswamy.
Kavita is a Google Lime Scholar and Microsoft Research Fellow.
She’s also worked at the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center – Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT) in Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh and IBM Business consulting services.
Kavita is a professional researcher with a physical disability. She’s motivated by a powerful, innate force: autonomy is the soul of independent daily living that she has achieved with the advancement of technology.
Her research involves the development of robotic systems to provide assistance and increase independence for people with disabilities.
She is developing several prototype robotic systems that will support transferring, repositioning, and personal care, with a focus on accessible user interfaces for control that are feasible for persons with severe disabilities (and this is the main topic of our discussion in this episode).
This is Stemiverse Podcast episode 57.
Stemiverse podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to techexplorations.com to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and electronics.
- [0:00:00] Introduction – Introducing Kavita Krishnaswamy
- [0:02:09] Welcoming Kavita
- [0:03:09] Developing Assistive Robotics: The focus of Kavita’s Ph.D. research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- [0:04:16] Kavita talks about her disability, caused by Spinal Muscular Atrophy, her life challenges and how technology gave her hope
- [0:08:40] Stephen Hawking‘s inspiring example
- [0:09:55] STEM’s potential in improving our lives and humanity’s fate intertwinement with technology
- [0:10:58] Stemiverse 0049 – Andra Kaye discusses life and Robotics – Kavita named one of the Women to Watch: 5 Under 40, by New Mobility Magazine – 25 Women to Watch in 2018, by Baltimore Sun
- [0:13:01] Examples of Kavita’s work in robotics:
- [0:13:23] Controlling a robotic arm in the kitchen
- [0:15:25] Comparing the effectiveness/use of a brain-computer interface, voice, keyboard, and mouse in moving an avatar’s arm
- [0:16:07] Prototypes for mobility: Repositioning in bed and transferring between bed and wheelchair
- [0:23:16] Kavita’s journey in education, when she decided to become a roboticist and her experiences during high school
- [0:27:28] How Kavita’s school accommodated her
- [0:30:26] Experiencing a lack of encouragement for applying to college, with only a few exceptions
- [0:33:03] Kavita’s Scholarships and Fellowships
- [0:34:34] The new assistive technology that will make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities, five years from now, according to Kavita
- [0:35:51] What will home assistive robots be like in the future?
- [0:37:52] Based on Kavita’s experience during her school and college years, what were the current system’s successes and failures in supporting people with disabilities? How can things be improved? What technologies can be implemented?
- [0:42:43] Telepresence robots
- [0:43:26] Kavita Krishnaswamy’s, who is inspiring the PM of India to make it more accessible, by Voice of SAP
- [0:44:58] Rapid Fire Questions
- [0:45:11] Who has been the most influential in Kavita’s teaching and research?
- [0:46:23] What app can Kavita not live without? YouTube app
- [0:47:17] Typing by thinking!
- [0:49:07] Advice to educators who teach students with disabilities
- [0:52:35] Parting thoughts
- [0:55:13] Kavita’s Contact Information: