Dec 13, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. -
Patel with Quasi, Interbots' first robotic character.
Interbots, a robotics company co-founded by Seema Patel ’02, recently won first place in RoboBowl Pittsburgh, a robotics venture competition aimed at startup companies seeking to develop prototypes for the healthcare and quality of life industries.
Interbots specializes in designing and building custom interactive characters, control software and interactive multimedia content. Its winning design was Popchilla, a toy robot that helps children with autism better identify and express emotions.
|Popchilla, Interbots' winning design.
Parents and therapists can use a remote control to speak through Popchilla. The robot also works with an iPad application that guides children through a variety of activities that boost social referencing skills. The activities, which were developed using suggestions from therapists and parents of children with autism, focus on recognizing emotions, responding to directions, social play and verbalization. See a demonstration of the robot here.
A former HMC robotics design team member and a physics/psychology major, Patel later earned a master’s degree in computer science from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). At CMU, Patel participated in a student project in the school’s Entertainment Technology Center, which sparked the development of her—and Interbots’—first animatronic robot, Quasi.
Quasi was selected to be the mascot of the World’s Fair for Kids, and has made numerous television appearances including ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Evening News Eye on America, Regis and Kelly, the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. Interbots’ second character, Moxi, was built for the Singapore Science Center, where it is currently installed.
Sponsored by The Robotics Technology Consortium, Carnegie Mellon University and the Innovation Accelerator, future RoboBowl competitions will focus on solutions in fields such as manufacturing, national defense, energy, transportation, agriculture and mining.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger