Director, Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Labs; Professor, Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cynthia Breazeal, who directs the Media Lab’s Personal Robots group, came to the Lab in 2001 from MIT’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab. As a doctoral student and then postdoctoral fellow at the AI Lab, Breazeal developed Kismet, an anthropomorphic robotic head that has been widely featured in international media and is the subject of her 2002 book Designing Sociable Robots. Breazeal’s research explores expressive social exchange between humans and humanoid robots. She is particularly interested in developing creature-like technologies that exhibit social common-sense and engage people in familiar, human terms. She continues to develop anthropomorphic robots as part of her ongoing work of building artificial systems that learn from and interact with people in an intelligent, life-like, and sociable manner. Nexi, a mobile, dexterous social robot developed by Breazeal’s research group, was named one of the 50 Best Innovations of 2008 by TIME magazine. Breazeal earned ScD and MS degrees at MIT in electrical engineering and computer science, and a BS in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.