Griffith University researcher Professor Wendy Moyle has been named as one of the World’s 50 Most Renowned Women in Robotics in Analytics Insight magazine.

As director of Menzies Health Institute Queensland Healthcare Practice and Survivorship Program, Professor Moyle is renowned for her expertise in evaluating social robotics to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their carers.

She conceptualised and led the first seminal pilot randomised-controlled trial investigating the effect of a social robot on an emotional response in people living with dementia. Prior to this, the available studies were descriptive and did not provide quality evidence of the effect of social robots.

Professor Moyle led the first large and most rigorous randomised controlled trial to date to explore the effectiveness of a social robot to reduce behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia. The study was ground-breaking in understanding the use of social robots and in particular, in this population.

“I feel so very honoured to be among such distinguished international women in being recognised in the list of Top 50 Dynamic Women Leadership in Robotics,’’ she said.

“I get satisfaction from the belief that my team and I are helping to improve quality of life of people with dementia. This recognition is the icing on the cake.”

“Such recognition is not possible without my amazing research team, the many generous people with dementia and their carers who have given so much of their time to the research, the numerous nursing homes involved in our research, the funding bodies including NHMRC, DCRC and Dementia Australia ,and Griffith University for our social robotic laboratory space”.

In her research, Professor Moyle has expanded and developed new methods, placing her at the cutting-edge of social robotics exploration.

Her highly cited work and an understanding of the cost-effectiveness of social robots has influenced clinicians’ perceptions of this technology for clinical use.

Data from her research has been shared to create a new health economic tool specifically for people with dementia. Understanding of the conceptual design of social robots has led to invitations to contribute to the development of new technologies in the UK, and Japan.