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The Focus of My Research is Human-Robot Interaction and Human-Computer Interaction/Interface Design 

This involves the investigation of how robots interact with humans in different application areas. As robots become more involved in daily life it is important to determine their impact on people, how people will operate the robots, and interact with them when they are encountered. My research is currently focused in four primary application areas:

  1. Robots used as a therapy support tool for psychological trauma.

  2. Robots used to gather information from people with a special focus on children.

  3. Robots used as law enforcement and military support (tactical team integration)

Link to Projects on my STaRS Lab Website



2009 - 2011

Yale University

I was a CCC/NSF/CRA Computing Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow working in the Social Robotics Laboratory at Yale University. I obtained specialized training in working with children including children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

The Use of Robots as Intermediaries for Gathering Sensitive Information from Children

  •  Child eyewitness memory evaluations

  • Learning about children’s experiences with bullying for developing better interventions

Robot Integration with SWAT  and Military Tactical Teams

  • Robot integration for covert and night operations

  • Supervisory control interfaces for tactical teams

  • Distraction devices for officer and soldier safety

  • Protocols for robot first contact

  • Interface technologies for hostage negotiations

  • Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in covert and night operations.

  • Law Enforcement Training Robotic Testbed Facility

2004 - 2009

University of South Florida

I obtained my Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering. I was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow and a Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Graduate Research Fellow. My research involved the use of emotional expression and proxemics in non-anthropomorphic robots used for urban search and rescue operations. 

2001 - 2004

Unversity of South Florida - Tampa, FL

I obtained my Bachelor's in Computer Science (summa cum laude). My honors thesis was titled "Mining for Implications in Medical Data."


Therabot: A Robotic Therapy Support System 

  • Survivors of Sexual Assault and/or Domestic Violence

  • Child Victims of Maltreatment

  • Soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Second Prototype Currently in Development

IEEE (Senior Member - 2015), IEEE Computer Society (Senior Member - 2015), IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (Senior Member - 2015), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

(a) SWAT User Interface and Operator Control

(b) Robot Entering Testbed Facility

(c) Robot Exploring Hallway Looking for Suspect

(d) Suspect Located by SWAT Team and Robot

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