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Mari Velonaki’s research is situated in the multi-disciplinary field of Social Robotics. Her approach to Social Robotics’ research has been informed by aesthetics and design principles that stem from the theory and practice of Interactive Media Art. Velonaki has made significant contributions in the areas of Social Robotics, Media Art and Human-Machine Interface Design. Her career outputs across these fields are extensive. Velonaki began working as a media artist/researcher in the field of responsive environments and interactive interface design in 1997. She pioneered experimental interfaces that incorporate movement, speech, touch, breath, electrostatic charge, artificial vision and robotics, allowing for the development of haptic and immersive relationships between participants and interactive agents. She is the recipient of several competitive grants, including ARC Discovery, Linkage, LIEF an ARC Fellowship, an Australia Council of the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowship, Australia-Japan Foundation, Fuji Xerox Innovation, AOARD.
Velonaki is a Professor of Social Robotics at Art & Design, UNSW. She is the founder and director of the Creative Robotics Lab (Art & Design UNSW) and the founder and director of the National Facility for Human Robot Interaction Research (UNSW, USYD, UTS, St Vincent’s Hospital).
Mari’s robots and interactive installations have been exhibited worldwide, including: Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Art Museum Beijing; Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea; Aros Aarhus Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh; Millennium Museum - Beijing Biennale of Electronic Arts; Ars Electronica, Linz; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck; ZENDAI Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney; Conde Duque Museum, Madrid.