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Current Students



Bill Smart

Dr. Smart

Dr. Smart does research in the areas of robotics and machine learning. In robotics, Smart is particularly interested in improving the interactions between people and robots; enabling robots to be self-sufficient for weeks and months at a time; and determining how they can be used as personal assistants for people with severe motor disabilities. In machine learning, Smart is interested in developing strategies for teaching robots to act effectively (or even optimally), based on long-term interactions with the world and given intermittent and at times incorrect feedback on their performance.


Bill's OSU Webpage

Cindy Grimm

Dr. Grimm

Dr. Grimm is currently working in the areas of computer graphics and human–computer interaction, including the relationship between shape and biological function, design of interfaces for manipulating and annotating 3D images, and artistic-based modeling and visualization.


Cindy's OSU Webpage

Current Graduate Students


William Curran

Will is a doctoral candidate in the Personal Robotics Group. He received his master's in Multiagent Systems and Decision Making at Oregon State University in 2014 under Dr. Kagan Tumer. He began applying his learning knowledge to real-world robotics in the Personal Robotics Group shortly after under Dr. Bill Smart. Will's current research focuses on developing new learning from demonstration algorithms for individuals with extreme disabilities. These individuals, who arguably need personal robots more than a typical user, cannot use traditional learning from demonstration techniques. Will also dabbles in developing tools for the ROS Ecosystem, developing task-level reinforcement learning applications, and programming awesome robots.


Will's Personal Webpage

Matthew Rueben

Matt is PhD candidate with the Personal Robotics Group. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2013 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. His current research focuses on understanding users' privacy concerns about robots, which he hopes to extend beyond privacy to values like transparency, honesty, and etiquette after graduating. Raised right here in Corvallis, Oregon, Matt enjoys being outside, reading books, and talking about ideas.


Matt's Personal Webpage

Austin Nicolai

Austin is a PhD candidate in the Personal Robotics Group (PRG) and Robotic Decision Making Laboratory (RDML) at Oregon State University. Before coming to OSU, he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Honors College at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. After, he worked as an Electronics Engineer for the Air Force while attending Mercer University in Macon, GA. There, he worked with the Machine Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory (MIRL) while earning his MSE in Electrical Engineering. Austin's previous work has included facial feature extraction, facial emotion categorization, and American Sign Language recognition. His current research interests include deep learning and computer vision in the robotics domain; specifically how these can be leveraged to improve path planning and human-robot interaction.


Austin's Personal Webpage

Christopher Eriksen


Chris is a PhD student in the Personal Robotics Group. Before coming to OSU, he earned his BS in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College. Chris' previous research has focused on quadrotor localization using monocular vision and visual features for predicting fingerprint quality. His current research interests include the application of machine learning and computer vision to personal robotics.


Chris' Personal Webpage

Duy Nguyen

Duy is studying for his MS in Computer Science with the Personal Robotic Group at Oregon State University. He received his BS in Computer Science from the Honors College at Oregon State University in 2016. He is interested in the interpersonal aspects of interactions between humans and robots. He spent two years in his undergraduate studies working in the Interpersonal Sensitivity Lab under Dr. Frank Bernieri studying about rapport between people in conversation. His current research focuses on how to improve speech assistive technology and allowing people with speech disorders to communicate naturally with others. Duy is from Vietnam and he enjoys being outside, cooking food, and talking to people.

Benjamin Narin

Benjamin is a master's student at Oregon State University. His primary research interest is in assistive robotics, robots to help those with extreme disabilities accomplish tasks for themselves.

Austin Whitesell

Austin Whitesell

Austin is a PhD student in the Personal Robotics Group. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2016 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. His previous work has involved grasping research and under-actuated system design. Currently, his interests include human-robot interaction and the application of robots in medical environments.

Wendy Xu


Wendy is human-robot interaction researcher in the Personal Robotics Group pursuing her robotics graduate degree. After studying computer science and media arts at Wellesley College and researching tangible user interfaces (TUIs) at the Wellesley HCI Lab and MIT Media Lab, she worked as a user experience researcher and interaction designer for various tech companies. She is now making a shift into robotic interactions and hopes to learn much and impact more. On the side she'll continue to pursue snow sports, painting, and film making. And eating good food... that's always rewarding.


Wendy's Personal Webpage

Current Undergraduate Research Assistants


Nicholaus Perry


Nicholaus Perry is an undergraduate at Oregon State University with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. Nicholaus' prior research includes work on the GENI liquid hydrogen UAV, advanced boat hull designs tensioning of a large scale artificial spider web and autonomous battery changers. His current work focuses on creating intuitive and efficient physical controls for industrial robots. In the future, he plans on pursuing a MS or PhD in robotics.

Makenzie Brian


Makenzie is an undergraduate at Oregon State University majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her research interests include human-computer and human-robot interaction. She plans to pursue a PhD or MS in robotics.

Rey Pocius


Rey is an undergraduate at Oregon State University, and has been with the lab since 2016.

Alumni and Past Members


Daniel Lazewatsky
PhD, Graduated 2015
Dan's Personal Webpage

Kory Kraft
MS, Graduated 2016
Kory's Personal Webpage

Cameron Bowie
BS, Graduated 2016
Computer Science

Benjamin Arvey
BS, Graduated 2016
Computer Science

Jasper LaFortune
BS, Graduated 2016
Computer Science

Evan Daniel
Visiting Artist, 2016

Brandon Gaydusek
REU Program, 2016
Arizona State University, Arizona

Margaret Krupp
REU Program, 2016
Indiana University, Indiana
Psychology and Informatics

Alex Dennis
REU Program, 2016
Hamilton College, New York
Computer Science and Mathematics

Patrick Hansen
REU Program, 2015
Notre Dame, Indiana
Computer Science

Steven Huerta
REU Program, 2015
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota
Computer Science

Tiffany Chu
REU Program, 2015

Leo Biggs
REU Program, 2014

Suzanne Dazo
REU Program, 2014
Berea College, Kentucky
Computer Science

Alexander Hubers
REU Program, 2014
Cornell College, Iowa
Computer Science

Thomas Thornton
REU Program, 2014
Colby College, Maine
Computer Science