A team of engineers at the University of Denver led by Prof. Mohammad Mahoor, is developing a socially-assistive robot called Ryan that provides companionship to elderly people with dementia and/or depression.  There is an emerging research field in robotics that aims to use social robots to engage effectively in social and conversational interaction with seniors with dementia to improve their socio-emotional behaviors, cognitive functions, and well-being.
Ms.Stephanie Melgar-Donis serves as the research coordinator for many of the research projects being ran through DreamFace technologies. She received a B.Sc in Biology and Psychology at the University of Denver and uses those skills to assist the team in both research coordination and in the biological portion of the studies.
Mr. Jarid Siewierski is a software engineer at DreamFace Technologies responsible for building the speech system for Ryan the robot. Jarid joined the team shortly after graduating with a B.S. in computer science from the University of Denver in 2018. Since joining he has worked on everything from writing dialogues and leading a team of dialogues writers to create a hybrid system utilizing Facebook’s BlenderBot2 language model, deploying the chatbot in a multi-client cloud environment, and building out the networking for the robot to communicate with the server, and writing the ROS node for the robot to process the payload from the server and the messaging system for verbal commands to work on the robot.