Leila Takayama
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Leila Takayama

Research Scientist

Leila Takayama's speeches display her open-minded thought process through robotic creations. As a Research Scientist and Manager at Willow Garage, a company that focuses on creating user-friendly humanistic robots, Leila Takayama continuously strives to improve the designs of everyday automatons, making them more accessible and approachable to its users.

Project Texai, a telepresence robot that centralizes around human-controlled robots in an office environment, revealed astounding behavioral details to the psychologist. Realizing that people are reluctant to interact with robots that look too much like machines. However, when these telepresence robots became more human-like, dressed up and equipped with false arms, people become more possessive of these droids, an inspirational discovery that influences Leila Takayama's speeches and work.

Possessing a B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master's in Communication and a Ph.D. in Communications between Humans and Interactive Media as well as a Ph.D. minor in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Stanford University, the researcher attempts to integrate her knowledge of human behavior into modern technology, a fusion that she hopes will make these daunting machines less intimidating. Alongside her academic accomplishments, her thesis, 'Throwing Voices: Investigating the Psychological Effects of the Spatial Location of Projected Voices,' was a winner of the Nathan Maccoby Outstanding Dissertation Award.

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