Heather Knight runs Marilyn Monrobot, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art. (and she helped build the amazing Rube Goldberg machine for OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass.")

Why you should listen

Heather Knight is conducting her doctoral research at the intersection of robotics and entertainment at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. She runs Marilyn Monrobot in New York, where she and her cohort create “charismatic machine performances.” As she describes it: “In one example, robot and human actors will perform the same script and basic set of actions, but each time vary the emotional and social content of those interactions. This variation will ... allow the general public to craft and hone robot personalities.”

Her installations have been featured at the Smithsonian-Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, LACMA, SIGGRAPH, PopTech and the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy. Her past work also includes robotics and instrumentation at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs (including the award- winning Rube Goldberg machine music video with OK Go), and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics. She was recently named Assistant Director of Robotics at Humanity+.

What others say

"Heather Knight wants you to like robots. Really like them." — Motherboard.tv

Heather Knight’s TED talks

Quotes from Heather Knight

It’s just a robot. It doesn’t have feelings … yet.
Heather Knight
TEDWomen 2010 • 577K views Jan 2011
Funny, Fascinating