TAMUC Robot Living Lab to Partner with Invento Research

The School of Social Work at Texas A&M University-Commerce is excited to announce a new, collaborative partnership between its Robot Living Lab and Invento Research, Inc., a Delaware-based corporation.

Established in January 2020, the mission of the Robot Living Lab at A&M-Commerce is to gain understanding of human-robot interaction and to engage in research related to robots' impact on human lives.

Rebecca Judd, Ph.D., associate professor of social work at A&M-Commerce, explained that advancements technology, artificial intelligence, engineering and computer science have opened doors to previously unimagined opportunities to enhance and improve life for humans.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how assistive robots can connect isolated elderly populations with loved ones and act as screeners for COVID symptoms as people enter buildings. They're also assisting with virtual education,” Judd said. “These unprecedented times are increasing the use of assistive robots in various human service settings, impacting care recipients, clients and service providers.”

Invento CEO Balaji Viswanathan added that the company's mission to “bring humanity through robots” aligns well with the Robot Living Lab mission. He explained the company's vision to improve health care quality and access.

“Our robot, Mitra, has been helping people across three continents and we are happy to bring this power to the United States in partnership with A&M-Commerce,” Viswanathan said.

The collaborative partnership will focus on human-robot relationships, as well as the development of an empirically based model to integrate assistive robots into human service sectors where they can have a positive human impact.

“We will bring Mitra to campus soon with the goal of enhancing student experiences,” Judd reports. “Additionally, we will conduct research in long-term care settings, hospitals and other human service settings.”

Organizations and agencies interested in offering their facilities as research settings are encouraged to contact Judd at [email protected], or Viswanathan at [email protected].