Brian Scassellati's research focuses on programming robots to learn in humanlike ways and show humanlike traits, ostensibly to help humans better understand themselves. He and his team at Yale's Social Robotics Lab use computational modeling and socially interactive robots to study how infants acquire social skills. Their work has also been important in helping to diagnose and treat autism and other disorders of social development, work that is underway at the NSF Expedition on Socially Assistive Robotics, which he also directs.
Dr. Scassellati’s research in social robotics and assistive robotics has been recognized within the robotics community, the cognitive science community, and the broader scientific community. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2007 and received an NSF CAREER award in 2003, as well as five best-paper awards since 2000. He holds several degrees from MIT, a PhD (2001) in Computer Science as well as two bachelor of sciences (1995), in Computer Science and in Brain and Cognitive Science.
Although he and his teams routinely decline media interviews because of the nature of their clinical research, exceptions have appeared in the Wall Street Journal (reprinted here), New York Times Magazine, Popular Science, New Scientist, APA Monitor on Psychology, and SEED Magazine.