BeatBots is a robot design studio based in San Francisco and Sendai. We have created interactive characters for research, entertainment, therapy, education, art, and toys. Our design philosophy centers around cuteness, personality, minimalism, and rhythm.
We envision a future in which relationships with robots move beyond the utilitarian and antagonistic expectations of science fiction. A future in which dancing is the highest form of robotic expression. A future in which robots designed for therapy are equally appealing to the wider community. And a future in which popular enthusiasm for robots can be harnessed to support the design and distribution of tools to promote social welfare.
We have partnered with toy companies and advertising firms on licensed projects, performed contract services for clients in media and entertainment, and collaborated with institutions on research involving our robots. Our work has appeared on the NBC Today Show, the History Channel, PBS, and Bloomberg; has been exhibited at WIRED NextFest, Pictoplasma, and the Webby Awards; and has received awards such as the Robots at Play Prize, a Maker Faire Editor's Choice Award, and a Popular Science Best of Toy Fair Award.
• Dr. Marek Michalowski co-founded BeatBots in 2007 while finishing his doctorate research on rhythmic human-robot social interaction. Prior to earning a PhD in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, he earned BA and MS degrees in Computer Science & Psychology at Yale University. • Dr. Hideki Kozima co-founded BeatBots in 2007 while at Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. He is currently also a professor of Project Design at Miyagi University.
• Greg Katz graduated from the Industrial Design program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is a first-place awardee of the Autism Connects International Design Competition sponsored by Autism Speaks and Core 77.
• Alea Teeters is a researcher and designer with a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS from the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
• Thiago Hersan is a programmer and circuit-designer with an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.