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She completed a two-year Certification in Movement Analysis (CMA) in 2016 at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS). in electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech with a dissertation that included a live performance exploring stylized motion.Prior to UIUC she held a position as an assistant professor in systems and information engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research began in her undergraduate thesis at Princeton University where she earned a certificate in dance and a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering.I'm working on an information theoretic description of moving platforms to demonstrate this to the robotics community. It has a collegial intellectual community with world-class researchers and the chance to start a company in parallel with my research.
When Amy La Viers was just 3, her mother and a group of parents in her tiny town in southeastern Kentucky collaborated to bring a dance teacher to the second floor of the fire station to provide lessons for the children.
In the years that followed, La Viers found herself falling in love with movement.
Answering these questions is critical to developing expressive robotic systems that integrate seamlessly with natural counterparts – a goal that has increasing urgency as robots move out of factories and into workplaces and homes.
This talk presents this problem in an information-theoretic model (where artificial systems are modeled as a source communicating across a channel to a human receiver) and highlights how this model guides work in the Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab.
Her choreography has been presented internationally, including at Merce Cunningham’s studios, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, the Ferst Center for the Arts, and the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology.
She is a co-founder of two startup companies: AE Machines, Inc, an automation software company that won Product Design of the Year at the 4th Revolution Awards in Chicago in 2017 and was a finalist for Robot of the Year at Station F in Paris in 2018, and caali, LLC, an embodied media company.
The talk will present work in generating variable bipedal gait via parameters embedded as constraints in an optimization, predicting perceived affect when human viewers observe artificial gait across multiple environments, and imitating human motion on multiple robotic platforms.
In addition to traditional tools in dynamics, control, and empirical measurement, these projects leverage qualitative observation, embodied movement practice, and artistic creation.
She took ballet, tap and modern dance classes, and after her family relocated to a town outside Knoxville, Tennessee, she joined the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble and performed all over the southeastern United States and the world.
To the next generation of a long line of engineers, dance “was an interesting problem to solve,” she said.