I am an Assistant Professor in Yale’s Computer Science Department, where I lead the Yale Interactive Machines Group (IMG). My main area of research is Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). An updated list of my publications can be found here and in Google Scholar.

Before Yale, I was a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab working on the JackRabbot project. I closely collaborated with Disney Research while I was a Ph.D. student in the Robotics Institute (RI) at Carnegie Mellon University, and worked on assisted photography while pursuing my M.S. degree at the RI as well. Even before then, I built and learned how to fly a remote controlled helicopter! This allowed me to work on video stabilization for my bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Research

I study fundamental problems to enable group human-robot interactions. For instance, my work investigates social group phenomena in HRI, including spatial patterns of behavior typical of group conversations and group social influence. Further, I work on advancing autonomous, social robot behavior, both in terms of perception and decision making. An example is our work on learning social navigation policies, which has led us to create interactive online surveys to scale data collection in HRI. A key idea that has driven our recent work in group HRI is abstracting interactions as graphs. This allows robots to reason about individual, relationship and group factors in unison (e.g., see our work on group detection and pose generation). I also enjoy building robotic systems to demonstrate ideas in practice (Chester, Shutter). More details about my research can be found in my lab’s website.

My group’s research has been recognized by best paper award nominations (HRI’21, IROS’18, and RO-MAN’16), a 2022 NSF CAREER Award, two Amazon Research Awards, and more.

If you are interested in joining my lab, please read this note about open positions at Yale IMG before contacting me.

News

Below are a few recent news from my research group and events that I have participated in:
HAI'22 and CORL'22 in New Zealand
New NeurIPS'22 paper on facilitating the training of neural network binary classifiers
Northeast Robotics Colloquium (NERC) 2022
Kayla's paper about Ommie wins Best Student Paper Award at RO-MAN'22!
New RO-MAN'22, IEEE RA-L and HAI'22 papers
KTH-RPL Summer School in Sweden
ICRA Workshop on Social Robot Navigation: Advances and Evaluation
Bethany's Girls Exploring Math and Science Program
NSF NRI-FRR PI Meeting
2022 NSF FRR CAREER Award!
See more detailed news.

Teaching