Ruth Aylett is a senior Professor of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and part of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. Originally from London, she has researched robotics since 1990 and played a leading role in a number of large international research projects such as the EU-funded LIREC project (2007-12) on robot companions and EMOTE (2012-16) on developing an empathic robot tutor.
She is currently leading a UK funded project examining how to use a robot to train high-functioning adults with autism to improve their social interaction. As a current researcher she has many contacts with others in the field and via her attendance at conferences and invited seminars is in close touch with international developments in the major research groups.
She is a prolific academic author and has a long experience of public appearances as part of the dissemination of her research, both as invited speaker at conferences, and in the mainstream media. One of her project’s robots appeared on the BBC Intelligent Machines live broadcast in September 2016, where she was also interviewed. She presented The Robots Are Coming in the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas programme of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 and also appeared in the 2017 EICC Innovation Nation series. She also appeared at a panel in the Edinburgh Science Festival in April 2019 on robots for therapy applications. Her project Alyx also appeared in Scotland’s National Museum as part of its Robots exhibition during April 2019.
In addition to this she is also a published author of poetry and short stories. She presented Sarah The Poetic Robot in the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2012, and read two of her short stories in the Edinburgh Book Festival Story Shop in 2014.
Ruth's latest book, co-authored with Patricia Vargas, THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS, will be published in 2021 in the UK and the US.
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