Center for Design Research director discusses mixed reality robotics

Director of the KU School of Architecture & Design’s Center for Design Research (CDR), Professor Greg Thomas, recently discussed the wide range of possible applications for mixed reality and extended reality robotics in Lifewire.

One CDR project is researching how mixed reality robotics can be deployed in hospitals to improve patient experiences. Although advances in medical technology are revolutionizing diagnostic and treatment options, the experience – which is often sensorily unfamiliar and intense – can be emotionally jarring and even frightening. This is especially true for children.

A multidisciplinary team of students worked with CDR healthcare and technology partners to develop a robot designed to provide pediatric patients with a more friendly interaction with technology and one that works to demystify medical procedures.

"For a child, we found anxiety, frustration, [and] loneliness are all common, and the robot was able to be programmed with a children's medical dictionary to be able to explain an upcoming "procedure," which made them more comfortable," Thomas said.

Read more in Lifewire.

The Center for Design Research at the University of Kansas conducts advanced research that emphasizes the cross-disciplinary use of design as a problem solving tool.

Students enrolled in the CDR’s industry-sponsored studios have the opportunity to work alongside researchers and practitioners to develop innovative new technologies, products, and systems. This creative process emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together KU students, faculty, and industry professionals from diverse disciplines to create imaginative yet practical solutions to complex problems.