Research Colloquium talk – Human-Machine Interaction for Mental Health Care

Talk Overview

Advances in assistive technology have led to widespread deployment of interactive systems to help improve people’s health conditions. Current interactive technologies, such as robots and virtual reality, are mainly for physical health, while the high controllability, precision, and automation also provide great opportunities for mental health care. In this talk, I will first present my research about how to use human-machine interaction to improve the assessment and intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This talk will cover both human-robot interaction and human-computer interaction technologies that have led to success. I will introduce the design, development, and validation of intelligent systems targeting core deficits in ASD. It is important to note that the engineering cores in human-machine interaction is not limited to a certain disease. Therefore, I will also introduce how to generalize interaction technology to serve different populations. In particular, robot-mediated physical and cognitive exercise for older adults will be discussed. Finally, the challenges and opportunities in designing intelligent systems for and beyond mental health care will be discussed together with important future directions.

When: Friday, October 11, 1-2:00pm

Where: CDM Theater 708

Who: Dr. Zhi Zheng, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Now the colloquium talks are live-streamed and available on YouTube!

Speaker bio: Dr. Zhi Zheng is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She received her B.S. (2008) in Biomedical Engineering and her M.S. (2011) in Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems from Xidian University. Then she received her M.S. (2013) and Ph.D. (2016) in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. Currently, Dr. Zheng leads the Intelligent Interaction Research (I2R) Lab at RIT. Her research emphasizes the integration of robotics, virtual reality, machine learning, and psychology, with a focus on machine intelligence. The overarching goal of her research is to explore new paradigms of human-machine interaction (HMI) to assist people in their daily life. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and transformative, as it crosses the boundaries between computer science, engineering, psychology, and cognitive science. Collaborating with experts in clinical psychology, nursing, social welfare, and medical informatics, Dr. Zheng has developed both human-robot interaction (HRI) systems and human-computer interaction (HCI) systems, mainly for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and older adults with mild cognitive impairments (MCI). She also has extended experiences (~ 350 sessions) on running human subject experiments to validate the efficacy of assistive technology.