Laura Boccanfuso is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Technology and Innovation Lab at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina. Her primary research focus is designing and developing new socially assistive robots to improve therapeutic outcomes in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her work also includes exploring novel, sensor-based techniques that advance the utility, safety and acceptance of robots working in close proximity to humans. Laura’s current research features the use of robust robots in free play contexts to autonomously measure differences in emotion response and emotion recognition in toddlers with ASD, validating a new technique for remotely detecting subtle affective state changes to improve the adaptivity of a socially assistive robot and examining the efficacy of novel human-robot interaction design to improve social skills in school-aged children.