Distinguished Lecture Series 2010-2011: Julie Adams

Adams Photo

Human-Robot Interaction for the Untrained Human User
Julie Adams, Vanderbilt University


This presentation will begin by providing a brief description of how this small town, country girl went to a small college in the big city (aka, Siena College) and then on to a PhD and faculty position in Computer Science. The second and primary focus of this presentation will be the importance, difficulty and state of the art in human-robot interaction. There are a number of very unique challenges to humans when interacting with individual robots or teams of robots. Often this interaction is limited by the capabilities of the robots and how best to provide the human affordances to support more natural interaction with the robotic systems. As robotic capabilities continue to improve, we are quickly approaching the day when humans and robots will be deployed as teammates for first response and military missions. In particular, this presentation will present our current research related to a remote, human operator monitoring a deployed robot team, as well as research related to the peer-based human-robot interaction for the deployed team members.


Dr. Julie A. Adams is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Vanderbilt University. She is also the founder of the Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computing and Information Sciences at Kansas State University. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Dr. Adams was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Before returning to academia, she worked in Human Factors for Honeywell, Inc. and the Eastman Kodak Company from 1995 to 2000. Dr. Adams was also an Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Rochester from 1999 until she joined RIT.

Dr. Adams received her Ph.D. degree in Computer and Information Sciences in 1995 from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), performing her research on human-robotic interaction for multi-robot systems in Penn's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. She received her M.S.E. degree in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.S. in Computer Science and B.B.E. in Accounting from Siena College.

Dr. Adams has published over 50 articles in the areas of multiple robot coalition formation, distributed artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction, and complex human-machine systems. She has received the NSF Career Award and was a member of the DARPA Computer Science Study Panel. Dr. Adams serves as a member of the National Research Council’s Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Review Panel on Solider Systems. She is a member of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society's Executive committee, currently serving as Vice President of the Human-Machine Systems area. Dr. Adams has served on several international conference organizing and program committees and is co-chair of the Human-Robot Interaction Steering Committee.