Here’s a Women in Robotics Spotlight, where we share stories from women who are working on all sorts of interesting projects who haven’t yet been featured in our Annual Showcase. We hope these stories provide inspiration to everyone to join us working in the field of robotics. And if you’re a woman working in robotics, why not contribute your story too!
Women in Robotics is a grassroots community involving women from across the globe. Our mission is supporting women working in robotics and women who would like to work in robotics. We formed an official 501c3 non-profit organization in 2020 headquartered in Oakland California. We’d like to introduce our 2021 Board of Directors:
Welcome to the first of our Women in Robotics Spotlights, where we share stories from women who haven’t yet been featured in our Annual Showcase but who are working on all sorts of interesting projects. We hope these stories provide inspiration to everyone to join us working in the field of robotics. And if you’re a woman working in robotics, why not contribute your story too!
“Making robots communicate with humans in natural language is a fascinating challenge. There is a lot going on during interactions between robots and humans. Humans make gestures, observe or interact with visible objects in the environment, and display emotions. What motivates me is equipping social robots with the ability to interact seamlessly, by recognizing a given situation and talking about it” says Dimitra Gkatzia who specializes in Natural Language Generation for Human-Robot Interaction.
“Girls are natural engineers, highly capable in maths and physics. We need to show them that these tools can be used to design a better world.So far, we’ve done a poor job of communicating to girls the very powerful impact they can make through an engineering career.” Croft continues, providing us with the inspiration to introduce the second of our new series of Women in Robotics Updates, featuring Elizabeth Croft, Helen Greiner and Heather Knight from our first “25 women in robotics you need to know about” list in 2013.
In spite of the amazing contributions of women in the field of robotics, it’s still possible to attend robotics conferences or see panels that don’t have a single female face. Let alone seeing people of color represented! Civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman said that “You can’t be what you don’t see”. Women in Robotics was formed to show that there were wonderful female role models in robotics, as well as providing an online professional network for women working in robotics and women who’d like to work in robotics. We’re facing an incredible skill shortage in the rapidly growing robotics industry, so we’d like to attract newcomers from other industries, as well as inspiring the next generation of girls. Introducing the first of our new series of Women in Robotics Updates, featuring Sarah Bergbreiter, Aude Billard and Cynthia Breazeal from our first “25 women in robotics you need to know about” list in 2013.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re reposting our latest ‘25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About‘ list. Over the last four years, Robohub has featured 100 inspiring women leading future developments within robotics, with plenty more for the years to come!
Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer, and heralded symbolic logic by demonstrating future applications for the universal computing machine that Charles Babbage proposed. She was exceptional in her era for her mathematical brilliance, but though she imagined future applications for a multitude of technological innovations, women at that time were not encouraged to speak about or publish their work, so Lovelace’s genius was appended as ‘notes’ onto the work of others and not seen as a major contribution in its own right.
The fact that the contributions of women such as Lovelace have not been celebrated until recently gives us cause to remedy the situation. Now in its third year, our list of ‘25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About’ is both a shoutout and a call to look at what all these women in robotics have achieved!
Melonee Wise, Erin Rapacki, Katherine Scott, Steffi Paepcke, Dale Bergman. What do these five women have in common? Aside from robotics, not much – they are all role models in robotics in quite different ways. (And that means that there are many opportunities for other women to make robotics their area.)
In episode four we talk with Hanna Wallach, of Microsoft Research. She’s also a professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst and one of the founders of Women in Machine Learning (better known as WiML). We take a listener question about scalability and the size of data sets. And Ryan takes us through topic modeling using Latent Dirichlet allocation (say that five times fast).