Brains and Bots: Making The Two Work Together


Incorporating two different STEM fields into one internship--an internship that harmonizes seemingly opposing fields like Neuroscience and Computer Science can prove to be quite a challenge. However, when an internship opportunity that captures the interdisciplinary nature of the two fields serendipitously arises, it is truly an amazing feeling. This summer, I worked at the Yale Technology and Innovation Lab, helping to design socially assisstive robots for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder typically characterized by social anxiety, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. I took part in multiple pilot robotics projects that aimed to improve methods of diagnoses and aimed to help children with ASD feel more comfortable and confident communicating in social settings. By engaging in both laboratory and clinical environments, and working closely with other researchers, psychologists, and social workers, I gained an understanding of collaborative research and the power of combining multiple efforts and experiences to produce innovative and unprecedented ideas that could benefit society.