Android Science Center
First of its kind in U.S.
Home of the first android science laboratory in the United States, the IU School of Informatics at IUPUI is on the cutting edge of a burgeoning and limitless field that just years ago would have been considered science fiction. Today, the use of androids has a variety of practical, meaningful applications, such as improving the quality of life of older adults.
The goals of the Android Science Center at the School of Informatics are to:
- Use androids to test models in human-android interaction experiments;
- Develop design principles and methodologies for human-android interaction; and
- Develop androids that improve the physical, cognitive and social well-being of our aging population.
About Android Science
Android science is interdisciplinary – drawing on and contributing to research in psychology; cognitive neuroscience; health and life sciences; electrical, computer and mechanical engineering; and human-computer interaction. Karl F. MacDorman, PhD, associate professor at the School of Informatics and principal investigator for the center, is expanding on android science experiments conducted in Japan – the country where to date much of this research has taken place and where MacDorman worked as a collaborator. Overall, the center’s work will have impact on a number of different fronts:
- Cognitive science – As a basic science for investigating human beings;
- Human-android interaction design – As a way of discovering design principles and methodologies for creating appealing and therapeutic androids; and
- Therapeutic outcomes – As a way of offering a sense of human presence and companionship.
Dr. MacDorman is currently engaged in several android-related projects at IUPUI and has published more than a dozen papers related to the field in peer-reviewed journals in the past few years. Under his direction, the center’s current research plan includes:
Contingency in Infant and Adult Interactions
An android baby developed by the center and its similarly sized robot counterpart are used to study how appearance shapes response in infants and adults.
Telepresence Data Mining for Contextualized Interaction
A new methodology for developing an android that can support social interaction, instead of the more traditional practice of designing the interaction in advance.
Human Perception of Near-Human Forms
Exploration of the visual perception of near-human forms by looking at norms related to the appearance, motion quality and contingency of simulated characters.