Director of UNSW’s Creative Robotics Lab Mari Velonaki has been voted one of the world’s top 25 women to watch in the field of robotics.

The list was created by RoboHub, one of the largest, online robotics communities bringing together experts in robotics business and research from around the world.

“Robots are the way of the future. This doesn’t mean they will replace humans but they need to know how to respond to us,” Professor Velonaki said.

Professor Velonaki was awarded an Australian Research Council Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship to create Diamandini, a humanoid robot that interacted with 28,000 spectators at the Victoria & Albert Museum during the 2012 London Design Festival.

The Creative Robotics Lab (CRL) is the first in Australasia and is based in UNSW Art & Design's National Institute for Experimental Arts. The Lab offers a cross-disciplinary research environment dedicated to understanding how humans interact with robots and responsive systems.

Professor Velonaki said she was honoured to be recognised alongside Berkeley University’s Ruzena Bajcsy, the recipient of a Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science for innovations in robotics and computer vision.

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