In 2014, Director of UNSW’s Creative Robotics Lab Mari Velonaki was voted one of the world’s top 25 women to watch in the field of robotics by RoboHub, one of the largest, online robotics communities bringing together experts in robotics businesses and research from around the world.

Now, in 2015, the BBC has recognised Mari Velonaki as a leader in the new and rapidly growing field of social robotics, where she is ‘breaking ground in examining the emotional, social and psychological barriers people experience when using robots.’ 

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 says that, while working in the fields of robotics and mechanical engineering, her 'focus is exactly the same as when I was working in the art context.’

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