Today’s episode is about robotics featuring an interview with Kavita Krishnaswamy, a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Kavita will share how she got into robotics and the access barriers she faces in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) as a student and researcher. As a person with spinal muscular atrophy, Kavita will also talk about the potential of robots providing assistance and greater independence for people with disabilities.
Goldstein-Street, Jake. January 29, 2018. Breaking down barriers to computer science for students with disabilities. The Daily, University of Washington.
Patel, Sonam. September 12, 2017. How Kavita Uses Beam to Pursue a PhD and See the World. Suitabletech.com
Torres, Reveca. (April 2, 2018). Tech Jobs: The Future is Now. New Mobility Magazine.
Kavita Krishnaswamy is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) working with Dr. Tim Oates. Kavita is a Google Lime Scholar and Microsoft Research Fellow. She is a recipient of both a Ford Foundation Predoctoral and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. She has also worked at the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center – Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT) in Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh and IBM Business consulting services.
As a professional researcher with a physical disability, Kavita is motivated by a powerful, innate force: autonomy is the soul of independent daily living that is achieved with the advancement of technology. Her research involves the development of robotic systems to provide assistance and increase independence for people with disabilities. She is developing several prototype robotic systems that will support transferring, repositioning, and personal care, with a focus on accessible user interfaces for control that are feasible for persons with severe disabilities.
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Sarika D. Mehta, Audio Producer
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“The Stream” by The Pangolins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License)
“La verdadera impaciencia (B-side)” by L.D.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License)
“Frisco Nights” by Loco Lobo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License)