Research Program Manager, iRobot
Jones, 34, a research program manager at iRobot, studies how to make robots interact naturally in human environments.
"Ava, our new prototype of a human-interface robot, is meant to naturally work with and around humans in human environments. It can find its way around without running into things and could be used for delivering items within a building or monitoring an area. It has sensors to perceive and interpret its environment, keeping a map of the area updated as it moves through its tasks. Once you have a platform that can move around and understand where it is and how it's interacting with people, the door is open for what you can do. In a way, robotics is the synergy of many fields; it takes computer science and mechanical and electric engineering and meshes them into one. It's exciting — it's where the future's going."
A version of this article appeared in the April 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.