Alumni

Ph.D. graduates

Randall Hellman, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering, 2016)

Ph.D. Dissertation: “Haptic Perception, Decision-making, and Learning for Manipulation with Artificial Hands”
Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher at the UCLA Biomechatronics Lab
Research Interests: robotic hands, actuation for tendon-driven mechanisms, haptic perception, machine learning, reinforcement learning
Awards and Honors: Arizona State University Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University Graduate Fellowship (2013)
Personal webpage, Curriculum Vitae

 
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Ruben Ponce Wong, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering, 2013)

Ph.D. Dissertation: “Towards haptic intelligence for artificial hands: Development and use of deformable, fluidic tactile sensors to relate action and perception”
Currently: Director of Technology at BMSEED
Biography: Ruben Ponce Wong grew up in Panama City, Panama before leaving for the U.S. in 2004 to pursue higher education. He graduated with a B.S. in Bioengineering at Arizona State University in May 2008 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University in July 2013 (Biomechatronics Lab alumnus!). He is currently working on haptic explouration experiments using multimodal tactile sensors and robotic fingertips. The end goals are to improve the sense of touch in artificial hands and use collected data for real-time feedback control algorithms.
Research Interests: tactile sensors, machine-learning algorithms, haptic exploration
Awards and Honors: ASU Graduate College Summer Doctoral Research Fellowship (2013), ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Ford Graduate Engineering Fellowship recipient (2012-2013), ASU Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University Graduate Fellowship (2011)
Curriculum Vitae, Resume (short)

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Michael De Gregorio, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering, 2013)

Ph.D. Dissertation: “Active and passive precision grip responses to unexpected perturbations”
Currently: Research Engineer at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Biography: Michael De Gregorio graduated from Lafayette College with his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2005. From there, he worked at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey designing fuzes for mortar training rounds while pursuing his Master’s Degree. He obtained his M.S. from Steven’s Institute of Technology in January of 2008 and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in July 2013 (Biomechatronics Lab alumnus!). Currently, Michael works on characterizing precision grip stiffness and human hand reflexive responses to rotational force perturbations by analyzing force and position data of the thumb and index finger. The hope is to incorporate these “low level” reflexes into robotic and prosthetic hands in order to increase the functionality and “human-ness” of these hands.
Research Interests: hand biomechanics, neural control of movement, multi-digit coordination, grip stiffness
Awards and Honors: ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Ferdinand A. Stanchi Fellowship recipient (2012-2013), ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Ford Graduate Engineering Fellowship recipient (2011-2012)
Personal webpage


M.S. graduates

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Ryan Manis, M.S. (Mechanical Engineering, 2014)

M.S.E. Applied Project: “Independent digit contributions to rotational manipulation in a three-digit pouring task requiring dynamic stability”
Currently: Process Engineer at Intel Corporation
Biography: Ryan Manis came to ASU from Elk Grove, Illinois in 2006. He began working in the ASU Biomechatronics Lab in Spring 2009 assisting with human subject experiments. That Fall, Ryan started developing a randomized motor-driven perturbation system funded by the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative. He graduated ASU with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2010. Originally a 4+1 Master’s student, his graduate plans changed toward working for a doctorate after he received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He is currently researching dynamic stability through human subject experiments. The results will give further understanding of how the thumb, index finger and middle finger coordinate and can be used in the future to possibly be built into a robotic or prosthetic hand.
Research Interests: hand biomechanics, neural control of movement, multi-digit coordination
Awards and Honors: ASU Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University Graduate Fellowship (2013), National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2010-2013), ASU Mechanical Engineering Senior of the Year (2010), ASU Barrett Honors College (2010), ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (F’09 – S’10)

Headshot_PlaceholderBenjamin Unger, M.S. (Mechanical Engineering, 2013)

M.S.E. Applied Project: “Electronic and communication system design for proprioception in an artificial hand”
Currently: Manufacturing Engineer at General Dynamics C4 Systems
Research Interests: Electronic and communication system design, ROS

Headshot_Hsia1Albert Hsia, M.S. (Biomedical Engineering, 2012)

M.S. Thesis: “Multi-directional slip detection between artificial fingers and a grasped object” (2012)
Barrett Honors Thesis: “Use of a hydrophone to detect slip between an artificial fingertip and a grasped object” (2011)
Biography: Albert Hsia got his B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University in May 2011. He first got involved with the Biomechatronics Laboratory with developing a modular grip device for force and torque analysis. Prior to working at the Biomechatronics Laboratory, Albert was involved in neurobiology research at the Barrow Neurological Institute, investigating speech and neural recovery in adult zebra finches. In the Biomechatronics Lab, he investigated sensor responses to slip between an artificial finger and a grasped object.
Research Interests: slip detection, hydrophone, pressure sensor, artificial finger, tactile sensing
Awards and Honors: Tau Beta Pi James Fife Graduate Fellowship (2011), ASU Moeur Award, ASU Barrett Honors College (2011), ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (F’09 – S’11)

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Chad Ripley, M.S. (Mechanical Engineering, 2011)

M.S.E. Applied Project: “Contour-following for haptic exploration”
Currently: Intel
Biography: Chad Ripley was raised in Arlington, Texas, until he moved to Arizona in 2003. He graduated valedictorian of Paradise Valley High School in 2007. Then, he graduated from ASU in mechanical engineering in May 2011. His academic and research interests are in controls.
Research Interests: robotics, controls, haptic exploration
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (F’09 – S’10)

James KristoffJames Kristoff, M.S. (Mechanical Engineering, 2011)

M.S.E. Applied Project: “Development of a Real-time Software Platform for Robotic Experiments on Dexterous Manipulation”
Currently: Educational Technical Evangelist at The MathWorks
Research Interests: human-robot interaction, robotics
Awards and Honors: ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Ford Graduate Engineering Fellowship recipient (2011)

 

Headshot_Naufel1Stephanie Naufel, M.S. (Biomedical Engineering, 2011)

M.S. Thesis: “Single-unit responses in somatosensory cortex to precision grip of textured surfaces and The collaborative ethics of translational research” (2011; Co-advised with Dr. Stephen I. Helms Tillery, ASU)
Barrett Honors Thesis: “Neuroprosthetics: Helping the body help itself. Sensory feedback development for neuroprosthetic hands, and the ethics of technology in the brain” (2010; Co-advised with Dr. Stephen I. Helms Tillery, ASU)
Currently: Pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) with an emphasis in neural engineering
Biography: Stephanie is an Arizona native, and got her B.S.E in Bioengineering from Arizona State University in May 2010. Stephanie studied tactile sensations and how they are processed in the brain in an effort toward providing sensory feedback for neuroprosthetic hands. She was co-mentored by Veronica Santos in Mechanical Engineering and Steve Helms Tillery in Bioengineering.
Research Interests: neuroprosthetics, somatosensory cortex, brain-machine interfaces
Awards and Honors: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2011), ASU Barrett Honors College (2010)

Philine DonnerPhiline Donner, M.S. (Mechanical Engineering, 2011)

Visiting scholar from The Technical University of Munich, Germany

M.S. Thesis: “Development of Computational Models and Controllers for Tendon-driven Robotic Fingers”
Currently: Pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at The Technical University of Munich, Germany
Research Interests: robotic hands, computational models, dynamics and controls


Honors undergraduate students

Eric Chang, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Mechanical Engineering, 2015)

Research Interests: artificial proprioception, Hall-effect sensors
Awards and Honors: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award (2015), Barrett Honors College (defense planned for S’15), ASU/NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Internship (F’13-S’14), ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’12), Arizona Flinn Scholar (2011)

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Shea Loges, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Mechanical Engineering, 2014)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Multidigit tactile exploration of the environment through an object”
Research Interests: haptic interactions with the environment
Awards and Honors: Barrett Honors College (defense planned for S’14)

Headshot_PlaceholderPriya Challa, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Astrophysics, 2014)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Investigation of multimodal tactile cues for multidigit rotational tasks”
Research Interests: haptic interactions with the environment
Awards and Honors: Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative research award (S’13, F’13-S’14)

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Joshua Beck, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Mechanical Engineering, 2012)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Uniaxial transducer for a tendon-driven linkage”
Research Interests: strain-gauge transducers
Awards and Honors: ASU Barrett Honors College, ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (F’11 – S’12)

Jenna LynneJenna Lynne, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Biomedical Engineering, 2012)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Effects of load asymmetry on tactile flow during prosthetic grasp”
Currently: Pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Interests: prosthetics, tactile sensing
Awards and Honors: ASU Barrett Honors College

 

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Riley Shear, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Mechanical Engineering, 2012)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Design of Kinect-based object identification and tracking system”
Currently: Pursuing an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University
Research Interests: instrumented objects for studies of grasp, Kinect-based computer vision
Awards and Honors: ASU Barrett Honors College, ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’11 – F’11)

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Troy Torrez, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Mechanical Engineering, 2012)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Design of a collapsible instrument for studying grasp of breakable objects”
Research Interests: instrumented objects for studies of grasp
Awards and Honors: ASU Barrett Honors College

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Ben Teplitzky, B.S. with Barrett Honors (Biomedical Engineering, 2011)

Barrett Honors Thesis: “Closed loop non-invasive human robot interaction: Fusion of electrotactile and temperature stimuli at fingertips”
Currently: Pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota
Biography: Ben hails from Burke, Virginia, a suburb only a short drive from our nation’s capitol. Following high school, Ben attended a vocational school and later became a master technician for Mercedes-Benz. After relocating to Arizona in 2006, Ben entered the biomedical engineering program Arizona State University, which prompted his eventual introduction to Dr. Stephen Helms Tillery and Dr. Veronica Santos. Since then, Ben has been granted several semesters worth of funding by the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) and the School Of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research (SOLUR) program to study neuroscience, neural engineering and human-robot interfaces under the guidance of Dr. Helms Tillery and Dr. Santos. Ben’s interests in the fields of neuroscience and robotic engineering are ever expanding, however, his recent work focuses primarily on the development of neuroprosthetics.
Research Interests: electrotactile stimulation, neuroprosthetics, robotics
Awards and Honors: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2011), ASU Barrett Honors College (2011), ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award, ASU School Of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Award
Personal webpage


Other student lab members

Ph.D. students

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Kevin William Bair (in memoriam)

Mechanical Engineering

Biography: Kevin was born in Phoenix, Arizona and earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University. He was a founding student member of the Biomechatronics Lab and contributed invaluable design skills and insight towards the design of robot hands and actuation systems as he pursued his doctoral degree. The “Bair Claw” anthropomorphic robot hand, initially conceived by Kevin and currently being developed in the Biomechatronics Lab, is named in honor of Kevin.
Research Interests: controls, electromechanical design, hand kinematics, robotics
Awards and Honors: ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Ford Graduate Engineering Fellowship recipient (2011), Honorable Mention for a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2010)

M.S. students

Headshot_PlaceholderIsmael Reveles (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: tactile sensing
Awards and Honors: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2012-2015)

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Vi Nguyen, M.S. (Biomedical Engineering)

Research Interests: hand anthropometry
Awards and Honors: ASU Barrett Honors College (2011)

 

 

Undergraduate students

 
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Chase Hrdina

Aerospace Engineering (Arizona State University)

Research Interests: design of artificial fingers, low-cost computer vision (Kinect sensors)
Awards and Honors: Barrett Honors College (defense planned for F’15), Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative research award (Sum.’12-F’12),

 
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Rizwan Ahmad (Biomedical Engineering)

Research Interests: kinematics of human grasp, haptic interfaces, virtual reality
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’11 – S’12)

 
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Erin Soto (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: robotics outreach in elementary schools

 
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Cody Brown (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: Hall-effect sensors for artificial proprioception
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’11)

 

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Wesley Tong (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: kinematics of human grasp, hand anthropometry

 
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Edward Villa (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: motor microcontrollers

 

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Emma Blass (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: capacitive-based tactile sensors
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (F’09-S’10)

 
 
 
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Brent Dodson (Mechanical Engineering)

Special thanks to Brent Dodson for creating the Biomechatronics Lab logo!
Research Interests: electrorheological fluids
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’11)

 
 
 
Nicholas Fette

Nicholas Fette (Mathematics)

Biography: Nicholas Fette graduated with a degree in mathematics at ASU in 2009. He plans to pursue a PhD degree with a focus on solar thermal systems or dynamics.
Research Interests: real-time streaming of motion capture data

 
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A. Candace Derenge (Biomedical Engineering)

Research Interests: capacitive-based tactile sensors
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’09)

 
 
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Shane Sandler (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Interests: mechanical design, video production
Awards and Honors: ASU Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Award (S’09)High school students

 
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Sean Summers (Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix, AZ)

Research Interests: joints for robotic fingers