Maria R. Lima is a PhD candidate at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and robotics researcher at the UK Dementia Research Institute Care Research & Technology Centre (UK DRI-CR&T). She holds the Imperial College President’s PhD Scholarship. Her research focuses on social robotics and conversational AI to support the independence and well-being of older adults and people affected by dementia in home environments. She also investigates accessible robots appropriate for use in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in India, to support mental health and dementia care. This cross-cultural robotics research, led by Prof. Ravi Vaidyanathan, has been recognised for its transformative potential and sponsored by Google Research India. Maria's research interests include socially assistive robotics, human-robot interaction, machine learning, natural language processing, and assistive technology.
Maria holds an MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from Imperial College London and was awarded the Unwin Postgraduate Prize for outstanding research thesis. Prior to joining Imperial, she completed a BSc in Mechanical Engineering with First-Class Honours at Técnico Lisbon University.
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