Humanoid Robotics Group People
Bryan Adams

Graduate Student

My work on Cog involves providing a framework for human energy metabolism. My goal is to use this structure not only to provide a basis for humanoid behaviors, but also to create a foundation for human experiences that are missing from the robotic array, such as tiredness, fatigue, and soreness.

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Artur Arsenio

Graduate Student

I dream of building a robotic creature that will exhibit high cognitive capabilities comparable to a human being. Currently, I am concentrating my efforts on perception, especially robotic vision, as well as on motor control, for which I developed a mathematical framework for tuning networks of neural oscillators for the control of rhythmic motions. I have been building the M4 mechanical head, as well as both the hardware and software architectures for this dog's robotic head.

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Lijin Aryananda

Graduate Student

My current interests focus on developing an autobiographical memory for socially intelligent robots. Lijin has played a significant role in enabling Kismet to recognize the affective communicative intent in human speech and works on the Sociable Machines Project.

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Jessica Banks

Graduate Student

My research focuses on the design and control of a robotic finger based on shape memory alloy (SMA) actuation. Construction is guided by adherence to anthropomorphism, self-containment, modularity and fiberoptic sensation. For more literature, kindly refer to

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people page
Cynthia Breazeal

Postdoctoral Associate

I am the lead researcher on the Sociable Machines project where our current interests focus on social interaction and socially situated learning between people and humanoid robots. I have also developed numerous autonomous robots, from planetary micro-rovers, to upper-torso humanoid robots, to highly expressive robotic faces.

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Rodney Brooks


I am the director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, the founder of the humanoid robotics group, and the thesis advisor to all the grad students working on these projects. When I was less bureaucratically involved I did research of my own. Now I cheer on my students. My burning question is what is it that lets matter transcend itself to become living.

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Aaron Edsinger

Graduate Student

I am currently developing a humanoid face for Cog using novel design processes. Additional work involves real-time eye-detection for joint-attention mechanisms, as well as introducing force-control to Cog's torso actuators. More information on this work can be found at

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Paul Fitzpatrick

Graduate Student

My current work focuses on robot-human communication through social protocols realized in the visual and auditory domains. In humanoid robotics, we have the opportunity to engineer machines that are matched to humans through physical form, perceptual biases, behavioral organization, coordination of movement, and expressive modalities. Such shared structure can be used to allow robots to partake in the elaborate protocols of natural human-human interaction.

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Charlie Kemp

Graduate Student

I am interested in harnessing large amounts of computation for advanced brain architectures. After the infrastructure for Coco's brain is sufficiently together, he will be excited to explore many of the topics listed in the future work on Coco section.

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Matt Marjanovic

Graduate Student

Matt's bio goes here

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Chris Morse

Graduate Student

I am a Mechanical Engineering graduate student. My research interests are robot design and actuation. I am a member of the Coco team and am responsible for Coco's mechanical design, construction, and maintenance.

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Una-May O'Reilly

Research Scientist

I am working on aspects of humanoid face design and personality. One project is the development of a face for Cog (with Aaron Edsinger) using solid modeling and stereo lithography fabrication. A related project is a study of the interpretation of robot faces in terms of aspects of personality.

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Annika Pfluger

Administrative Staff

I am assistant to the director of the AI Lab and webmaster for the Humanoid Robotics Group as well as for the AI Lab.

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Naoki Sadakuni

Visiting Scientist

I am interested in making robots that interact with people in an enjoyable way. I am exploring walking styles and motor control as techniques for enhancing these interactions and believe that robot autonomy is essential for rewarding robot-human relationships.

Chris Scarpino

Research Engineer

I am working to maintain the mechanical systems of the robots. I also work on the design side, implementing mechanical design changes to the robots, such as those associated with our stereolithography initiative. Currently, I am designing a simple and lightweight robotic hand for Cog.

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Brian Scassellati

Graduate Student

I am building a theory of mind for our humanoid robots. My interests also include using robotics as a tool for evaluating models from human development, machine vision, and social skill development. I am also the contact person for the Cog project.

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Eduardo Torres-Jara

Graduate Student

I am interested in understanding Human Motor Control in order to apply it to Humanoid Robots. Currently, I am working on implementing low-level Motor Control in the robot Coco, using force control. Additionally, I am interested in the sensory systems, which include sound, vision and force.

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Paulina Varchavskaia

Graduate Student

My current interests focus on the pragmatics of human and robotic language acquisition such as having Kismet learn meaningful communicative acts from grounded social interaction with people. As a first step towards this goal, I have modeled human infant canonical babbling for Kismet.

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Juan Velasquez

Graduate Student

I am interested in understanding affect from a computational perspective. Drawing inspiration from work in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Ethology, I have been developing control architectures for some of our robots that rely on the use of computational models of affective processes to integrate and coordinate other models and systems that mediate perception, motivation, attention, behavior selection, learning, and motor control.

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