Amy Laviers Thesis

At Princeton University, you earned a certificate in dance and a bachelor's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. I love Glossier's products and, even more, watching her take over, and simultaneously empower, the world with brow pomade and face cream.

Was this the moment you had to switch your priorities? This was the moment I realized these "two" priorities were one and the same!

We're working to make the future of work brighter for factory workers and owners. In addition to AE Machines, I think one of my projects, part of a National Science Foundation grant on promoting independence in the elderly, has many opportunities to (and a responsibility to taxpayers to) commercialize some of our work.

An article quotes you: "I'd like to watch multiple people work together on a task and figure out what is different in how they each approach the problem, and then develop a framework, using precise measurements of this behavior, so that a robot could jump in and collaborate too." Are there efficiencies as well as some perils in this collaboration? My graduate student is working to apply to the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) right now to understand if there is a path forward for this.

The students in my lab take movement classes with me and my collaborators; I work on artistic projects that interface with research outreach; and I train whenever I can: most recently, auditing Professor Endalyn Taylor's wonderful 300-level ballet class.

Did dancing teach you anything about physics or engineering? Not the parts of physics/engineering we teach in the College of Engineering at UIUC.She took ballet, tap and modern dance classes, and after her family relocated to a town outside Knoxville, Tennessee, she joined the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble and performed all over the southeastern United States and the world.To the next generation of a long line of engineers, dance “was an interesting problem to solve,” she said. But how do we resolve the discrete measures of communication and information theory with the continuous laws of motion and mechanics? We know that animals, including humans, use the motion of counterparts to produce coordinated, social behaviors.Each week, staff writer Paul Wood talks with a different high-tech leader.This week, meet AMY LAVIERS, a University of Illinois professor and dancer who also runs a start-up, AE Machines.You took ballet, tap and modern dance classes, and joined the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble and performed all over the world.Could you see yourself being professional dancer in your adult life? Really, I am a professional in dance — I just do it through an unconventional post.Answering these questions is critical to developing expressive robotic systems that integrate seamlessly with natural counterparts – a goal that has increasing urgency as robots move out of factories and into workplaces and homes.This talk presents this problem in an information-theoretic model (where artificial systems are modeled as a source communicating across a channel to a human receiver) and highlights how this model guides work in the Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab.


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