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Intelligent Human-Machine Interactions

Reporter: Professor Yingzi Lin, Northeastern University, USA

Time: 9:30AM

Place: Room 410, Old Hydraulic Building


n this seminar, I will give an overview of my research projects in the emerging research area of intelligent human-machine interactions, in particular nonintrusive biosensing, multimodal fusion, as well as sciences and technologies towards future intelligent human-machine interactions.

Work in my Intelligent Human Machine Systems (IHMS) Laboratory covers a wide range of applications, from driver performance analysis in transportation to patient safety in healthcare. With a focus on interaction between humans and machines, physiological sensors are used both to collect relevant data during testing, as well as an input for machine operation. While the nature of the work can seem broad, it is all working towards the same goal – to improve the level and quality of communication between humans and machines.

Sample projects include: Physiological cues such as heart rate, respiration rate, eye gaze state and electroencephalography can be used to infer a human subject’s cognitive state, for example, inference of levels of fear, frustration, or anger. Collecting this type of data while subjects run through one of the many simulations developed in my lab. Understanding cognitive state during specific, controlled scenarios while the subject is tasked to drive a car, interact with a robot, memorize and recall a list of words, or take a series of geometric based tests, can develop an understanding of how people react to and handle certain situations. Providing a model of these reactions to a machine can allow it to predict and adapt to the state of a human operator, allowing for 2-way awareness and assistance during human-machine operation. Other work uses physiological cues to replace traditional interfaces during human operation. Eye gaze and simple hand gestures have been proven to replace the traditional mouse and keyboard interface for playing virtual games, which can allow greater accessibility to disabled users, as well as serve as a foundation for new at home physical rehabilitation practices. A system of eye gestures has been proven to replace a hand held controller to pilot a quad copter, which increases accessibility of control.

Despite its great technical and social significance, the modeling of human states and behaviors remains one of the greatest challenges in science and technology development. It is known that human states and behaviors are highly nonlinear, uncertain, and random, which challenges many scientific disciplines. Human machine operation has a significant and ever growing presence in our world. My work aims safer, more accessible and productive cooperation between humans and machines for the future.

Brief Introduction:

Dr. Yingzi LIN is the director of the Intelligent Human-Machine Systems (IHMS) Laboratory, and an Associate Professor (tenured) with the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA. Her research

has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and major industries. She is a recipient of a few prestigious research awards, including a NSF CAREER award and a NSERC UFA (University Faculty Award). She has published over 100 technical papers in referred journals and conference proceedings. Her area of expertise includes: intelligent human-machine systems, driver-vehicle systems, smart structures and systems, sensors and sensing systems, multimodality information fusion, human machine interface design, and human friendly mechatronics. Dr. Lin was the Chair of the Virtual Environments Technical Group of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). She was on the committees of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences. She served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Part A: Systems and Humans. In addition, Professor Lin has been a reviewer for many professional journals and conferences.  She has also been on the organizing committee of a number of professional meetings in the areas of Advanced Sensors, Mechatronic Systems, Dynamic Systems and Control, Advanced Smart Materials and Smart Structures, and human-machine interaction.