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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260

2007 - Jonathan Battat

Yoni Battat spends his days with an unusual group of research partners—assisted living patients who test drive his modified, GPS-enabled wheelchairs.  As a Research Engineer in the Robotics Vision Sensing Networks Group (RSVN) at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT, Yoni is building on his MIT Master’s research—automating the modeling of building interiors to help people navigate indoor environments—and applying these digital representations to robot navigation. 

Yoni’s research group has teamed up with an assisted living facility, helping its residents with advanced degenerative diseases by developing navigation capabilities for assisted living robots and robotic mobility devices, such as power wheelchairs, which both service and transport patients.  Yoni is working to enable autonomous mobility for these patients via robotic devices that transport them from room to room, prompted by simple voice commands (e.g. “kitchen,” “bathroom,” “room 209”).  His goal is to allow these assisted living patients to spend less time on mobility challenges and, instead, enable them to channel their energy into more social engagement and intellectual stimulation.  In the long term, Yoni would like to continue honing his entrepreneurial talents in meaningful ways to effect positive change in the world.

When not researching, newlywed Yoni likes to spend time with his wife, Laura.  They plan to honeymoon in Europe this summer.