In this episode of ACM ByteCast, host Rashmi Mohan is joined by roboticist Robin Murphy, ACM Fellow and recipient of the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions. Murphy is a Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and Director of the Humanitarian Robotics and AI Laboratory, formerly the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR). She helped found the fields of disaster robotics and human-robot interaction and has deployed robots to major disasters, including the 9/11 World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, and Fukushima.
Murphy details some of the logistical and algorithmic challenges of getting valuable data during disaster response and acting on it at a distance. She also touches on the use of robots during COVID-19, such as providing support for hospital workers. Finally, Murphy shares inspiring advice for kids and younger technologists looking to make a difference with emerging AI methods, and her enthusiasm for the future of robotics.