|Cynthia Breazeal is an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. She is Director of the Robotic Life Group and holds the LG Group career development chair.
Cynthia has been building autonomous robots for over a decade ranging from insect-like planetary micro-rovers, to robotic terrariums and gardens of interative flowers, to highly expresssive anthropomorphic robots, and more. Her work is informed by scientific theories of natural behavior and incorporates artistic insights to create capable and appealing robot creatures that can socially interact and communicate with people in a manner that intrigues us intellectually and touches us emotionally. Her current research extends these themes in the area of human-robot relations to create cooperative anthropomorphic robots that work and learn in partnership with people.
She has published extensively in journals, conference proceedings, books, and magazines. Her first book, Designing Sociable Robots, is published by The MIT Press (2002). She is also co-editor of Biologically Inspired Intelligent Robots, published by SPIE Press (2003). She has been featured in Time magazine as an inventor, recognized as a prominent young innovator (Boston Business Forward, and Richard Saul Wurman's 1000, Technology Review's TR100 award for prominent young innovators), and recognized nationally as a designer (Finalist, National Design Award in Communication in 2003). She served as an expert consultant for the Spielberg/Kubrick movie Artificial Intelligence. Her work has been nationally and internationally featured in the media including the NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Business Week, US News and World Reports, Scientific American, The London Times, Newton, Le Figaro, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR's Morning Edition, and more. Her work has been exhibited at a number of museums including the MIT Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
She received her B.S. (1989) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She received her S.M (1993) and Sc.D. (2000) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her graduate and postdoctoral research was carried out at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. While at the AI Lab, she participated in the development of some of the world's most famous robots including the upper torso humanoid robot, Cog, and the sociable robot, Kismet.