Alexis E. Block received her bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and two minors in Math and Engineering Entrepreneurship in 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania. The following year, 2017, she received her masters degree in Robotics, also from the University of Pennsylvania.
Alexis E. Block's doctoral research, HuggieBot, focuses on social-physical human-robot interaction. She currently works with her primary doctoral advisor, Dr. Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, in the Haptic Intelligence Department of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems as a Center for Learning Systems (CLS) Doctoral Fellow. She is affiliated with the Computer Science Department at ETH Zürich. Her two ETH co-advisors are Roger Gassert (Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory) and Otmar Hilliges (Advanced Interactive Technologies).
Block was named a 2018 HRI Pioneer, and elected a General Chair for HRI Pioneers 2019.
Alexis Block's research has been featured on several radio programs:
NPR, 16 June 2018: HuggieBot was the first question discussed during the Panel Questions segment of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" program.
Paul Ross Show on TalkRadio, 15 June 2018: Alexis had an 11 minute interview with Paul Ross. It aired between 4:30-5:00 and begins about 8 minutes in
Block's research has been featured in several articles:
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems