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M Bernardine Dias
Associate Research Professor, RI
Office: NSH 2105
Phone: (412) 268-9365
  Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Administrative Assistant: Lynnetta J. Miller
Affiliated Center(s):
 Field Robotics Center (FRC)
Personal Homepage

Current Projects [Past Projects]
Assistive Educational Technology
This project seeks to design, create, implement, test, and deploy interactive computer games and automated tutoring systems to motivate and enhance the education of children who are visually impaired or deaf.
Cooperative Robotic Watercraft
This project's vision is to have large numbers of very inexpensive airboats provide situational awareness and deliver critical emergency supplies to flood victims.
iSTEP (innovative Student Technology ExPerience) is a TechBridgeWorld program that provides Carnegie Mellon students with real-world experience in applying their knowledge and skills for creative problem solving in unfamiliar settings. The multidisciplinary iSTEP team is comprised of a mix of undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni from various departments at Carnegie Mellon. The students work in a globally-distributed team with some members working from campus with others living and working at the overseas partner location. Together with TechBridgeWorld, the iSTEP team collaborates on technology research projects for underserved communities with local partners. The iSTEP internship locations include Tanzania in 2009, Bangladesh in 2010 and Uruguay in 2011 with projects in assistive technology, literacy tools and information exchange.
Safe and independent navigation of urban environments is a key feature of accessible cities. People who have physical challenges need practical, customizable, low-cost and easily-deployable mobility aids to help them safely navigate urban environments. Technology tools provide opportunities to empower people with disabilities to overcome some day-to-day challenges. Our work focuses on designing, implementing, testing and deploying a smart mobile phone-based personalized navigation aid (NavPal) to enhance the navigation capability and thereby the independence and safety of visually impaired and deafblind people. The goal of the project is to use the smart phone navigation application to assist visually impaired and deafblind people to safely evacuate specific buildings in emergency situations. NavPal is a joint effort of TechBridgeWorld and the rCommerce lab, two research groups in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with Google Inc.
TechCaFE (Technology for Customizable and Fun Education) is a TechBridgeWorld program that provides educators with simple and customizable tools to make learning fun for students. TechCaFE currently offers tools for teaching and practicing English literacy. This includes CaFE Teach, a web-accessible content authoring tool that teachers use to create and modify English grammar exercises. Students learn content added by teachers through CaFE Teach via CaFE Web, a web-based practice tool, or CaFE Phone, a mobile phone game. Future work involves developing CaFE Play for customizing educational games. TechBridgeWorld has worked with or is currently working with primary school and university students, deaf and hard-of-hearing students and migrant workers, in Bangladesh, Qatar, Tanzania and the United States
Visual SLAM for Industrial Robots
We are exploring algorithms to support visual mapping and localization for a robot vehicle operating in an industrial setting such as an LNG production plant. This work is sponsored by QNRF.