Roboticist Heather Knight Presents at 2012 Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in October in Pittsburgh

As a social roboticist, Heather Knight is helping us to see robots in an entertaining new way.   

Robots can tell stories and make us laugh, says Knight who made her debut, accompanied by her endearing sidekick Data, at a 2010 TED Talk. The two have been performing together ever since.

Knight, who grew up in Lexington, Mass., is conducting her doctoral research at CMU’s Robotics Institute, attracted by the unique combination of fine arts, robotic and entertainment tech programs.

In keeping with her mission, one of the first things she did when she arrived on campus was to take a census of all the robots. There are 547 robots in all, not including those at NREC in Lawrenceville, nearly one robot for every student in the department, she says.

In addition to her academic studies, Knight has several ongoing robot projects. She runs a stand up comedy troupe robots, Marilyn Monrobot Labs, in New York City, which produces sensor-based electronic art performances.

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