Principal Investigator

Veronica J. Santos, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Biography: Veronica J. Santos is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the UCLA Biomechatronics Lab. She received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering with a music minor from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. From 2000 to 2001, she was a Quality Engineer and Research and Development Engineer at Guidant Corporation in Santa Clara, CA, specializing in life-saving cardiovascular technology. Dr. Santos received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering with a biometry minor from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 2004 and 2007, respectively. From 2007 to 2008, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California where she worked on a team to develop a novel biomimetic tactile sensor for prosthetic hands. From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Santos was an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program at Arizona State University, where she directed the ASU Biomechatronics Lab. She currently serves as an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, and Editor of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).
Research Interests: grasp and manipulation, hand biomechanics, haptics, human-machine systems, machine learning, machine perception, neural control of movement, prosthetics, robotics, stochastic modeling, tactile sensors
Awards and Honors: Selected for the Defense Science Study Group (2018-2019), for a UCLA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept. Teaching Award (2016-2017), for an ASU Young Investigator Award (2014), for two ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Top 5% Teaching Awards (2012, 2013), as a Lindseth Lecturer by the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University (2012), for a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development CAREER Award (2010), and as an attendee at the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium (2010)
Google Scholar citations

Postdoctoral Researchers

Eunsuk Chong, Ph.D.





Ph.D. Students

Kenneth Gutierrez

Research Interests: haptic perception, machine learning
Awards and Honors: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award (2015), National Science Foundation “Bridge to the Doctorate” Fellow (2014)



Alireza Haji Fathaliyan

Research Interests: 3D gaze tracking for action recognition to enhance human-robot collaboration




Shengxin Jia

Research Interests: artificial haptic perception within granular media




Eric Peltola





Lionel Zhang





Not pictured:

  • Xiaoyu Wang
  • Yi Zheng

Undergraduate Students

Not pictured:

  • May Battleson
  • Kevin Hsu
  • Jimmy Peñaloza
  • Ryan Poon
  • John-Pierre Sawma
  • Zhe Wang
  • Daniela Zokaeim

High School Students

Not pictured:

  • Aaron Rovinsky
  • Michael Zakariaie

Other lab members

Not pictured:

  • Yayun Du
  • Meng-Hao Li
  • Cheng-Ju Wu