Navigation Robot for the Visually Impaired
IBM Research, CMU, Miraikan
Chieko Asakawa is an IBM Fellow, working in the area of accessibility. Her initial contribution to the field started from braille digitalization and moved onto the Web accessibility, including the world’s first practical voice browser. Today, Chieko is focusing on real world accessibility to help the visually impaired understand their surroundings and navigate the world by the power of AI. She has been serving as an IBM Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University since 2014. She started to concurrently serve as Chief Executive Director of the Japanese National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) since April 2021. In 2013, the government of Japan awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon to Chieko for her outstanding contributions to accessibility research. She was elected as a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2017, inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in 2019. She also received American Foundation for the Blind 2020 Helen Keller Achievement Award.