The 2008 University of Southern California Body Computing Conference was held at USC on October 24, 2008, hosted by Leslie Saxon, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
Making the seventh presentation, Socially Assistive Robots for Monitoring, Rehabilitation, and Training, were Eric Wade, postdoctoral student at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and David Feil-Seifer, PhD candidate at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Wade and Mr. Feil-Seifer presented their work with Dr. Maja Mataric' to develop specially programmed and designed robots for patient populations requiring personalized, trained one-on-one care such as autistic, Alzheimers, and stroke patients. As of today, their robots have proven effective at giving companionship and motivation to patients while monitoring them. In the future there is hope for a true synergy between human-provided and technology-assisted care, as the patient population increases faster than the care provider population. Dr. Wade and Mr. Feil-Seifer won the first annual Most Outstanding Body Slammer Award.
Dr. Saxon emceed the session. Judges were Francis Pereira, director of industry research at the USC Institute for Communications Technology and Management; John Lalonde, vice president of Latitude Research & Development at Boston Scientific CRM; Donald Jones, vice president for business development at Qualcomm, Inc.; Jonathan Lash, director of the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at USC; and Neil Eigler, senior vice president of CRMD Technology Incubation at St. Jude Medical.