People

Holly Yanco

Holly Yanco is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at UMass Lowell, where she heads the Robotics Lab, and is director of the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, sliding scale autonomy, sensor fusion and presentation, interface design, and situation awareness in the domains of assistive technology and urban search and rescue.  She received a Career Award from NSF in 2006. Yanco was the PI of the NSF funded Pyro Project, which was awarded the NEEDS Premiere Award for Courseware in 2005.  She has a PhD and MS from MIT and a BA from Wellesley College, all in Computer Science. Yanco was a member of the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) from 2006 to 2009. She was the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. She has received teaching awards from MIT and UMass Lowell.

Kate Tsui

Kate is a doctoral candidate at UMass Lowell in the Department of Computer Science. From 2001 through 2006, Kate worked for Sun Microsystems in several software engineering roles, including development and quality assurance. In 2004, she graduated from UMass Lowell with her BS in computer science. She received her MS in computer science in 2008 and a certificate in Human-Computer Interaction in 2010.

In her current role at UMass Lowell's Robotics Lab, Kate is specializing in robotics and human-robot interaction as an assistive technology researcher. Her primary research is at the cross section of computer science, robotics, assistive technology, human-robot interaction, and human-computer interaction. From 2006 through 2009, she and her collaborators at the University of Central Florida and the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center developed and evaluated vision-based control of a wheelchair-mounted robotic arm for users with cognitive impairments to pick up an object.

Kate is working towards a vision in which telepresence robots positively impact the everyday lives of people with disabilities, particularly for those who must live away from their families and friends for medical reasons. The robot would be located in their families' homes, and the people with disabilities would be able to visit at their choosing, as if they were there. She hypothesizes that telepresence robots can be used to recreate the closeness of daily interactions for personal relationships and mitigate isolation and loneliness.

Current research: Robotic Telepresence

Dan Brooks

Dan is a master's student at UMass Lowell. He graduated from West Virginia University in 2009 with two degrees, one in Computer Engineering and another in Computer Science. He has interned with the Emerging Technologies group at the Coast Guards Operations Systems Center, as well as spent the last three summers working for the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA's Ames Research Center. Dan enjoys and spends his money on rock climbing, white water kayaking, mountain biking, backpacking, mountaineering, caving, scuba diving, sky diving, skiing, and running.

Current Research: Haptic Robot Control

Abe Shultz

Abe Shultz is a graduate student and research assistant at UMass Lowell. Prior to that, he was in the software industry, working for Radiospire, RSA, and EMC. Even further back, in the murky mists of time, he got his bachelor's degree in computer science from WPI. In his spare time, he is an electronics hobbyist.

Current research: Neural Networks and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Eric McCann

Eric graduated from Middlesex Community College with an Associate Degree in Computer Science in 2009 and from UMass Lowell with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science in 2011. Prior to the summer research opportunity he was hooked-up with through a professor from Middlesex (thanks Professor Bleichman!), he had no experience working with robots. Since this opportunity he's continued his work with Microsoft's robotics development system. Eric was an honorable mention for the CRA Undergraduate Research Award in 2011. In his free time, Eric enjoys long walks on the beach, and procrastination.

Current research: Multi-touch Technologies for Human-Robot Interaction

Mikhail Medvedev

Mikhail studied Physics and Math at Kurgan State University in Russia for 4 years. He graduated from Middlesex Community College in 2011 with an Associates Degree of Computer Science. Mikhail began working in the lab in the summer of 2010 helping with the SUBTLE project. In his free time he enjoys volunteering for the National Ski Patrol and practices Taekwondo.

Current research: Multi University Research Initiative: SUBTLE

Jordan Allspaw

Jordan is a Computer Science undergraduate at UMass Lowell. After graduating high school in 2008 he has moved away from his hometown in California to the more seasonal northeast. Before changing to a Computer Science major he studied at Northeastern University as a Chemical Engineer, and maintains a strong interest and background in the sciences. In the Robotics Lab he has had a chance to work on various multi-touch systems and looks forward to his future projects. An eagle scout and ex-track runner, his hobbies include distance running and video games.

Vicki Crosson

Vicki, a transplanted Texan, is currently an undergraduate in Computer Science at UMass Lowell. She enjoys going 20 miles in the wrong direction with her trusty bicycle, operating her soda machine, realizing that maybe the exit hike from that canyon doesn't exist anymore, learning languages, playing with locks, and reading Batman comics.

Eric Marcoux

Eric is a Computer Science undergraduate at UMass Lowell. Throughout high school he competed in as many robotics challenges as he could get into, including FRC, VEX, and Zero Robotics, routinely staying at school until the halls were armed and had to escape out a back door (thanks Mac and Mr. Rathier!). Dual enrolled he graduated top of his trade school with a certificate in Electronics. Having a passion for making software that bridges the physical and virtual world he’s always in search for the next cool project idea. In his free time he’s an avid hiker, black belt, and long time camper, having traveled in an RV as far West as South Dakota and as far south as the Keys.

Adam Norton

Adam Norton is the manager of the UMass Lowell NERVE Center, and works as the media and graphic designer for the Robotics Lab with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from UMass Lowell. He also runs many of the lab's education workshops, such as STREAM. He has aided in designing robot modifications for the lab's robots, specifically on Margo and Hugo. Adam is an instructor and core member of Artbotics, both at UMass Lowell and the Revolving Museum. During Fall 2010 he was a SPARK Ambassador at iRobot in Bedford, MA. Part of the 20 in 20 Robotics Roadshow, Adam traveled to 20 different schools throughout Massachusetts giving interactive presentations focused on robotics and STEM (science, engineering, technology, and math).

Outside of the lab Adam is a drummer and artist, focusing on vector-based illustrations and conceptual sculptures.

Current research: Robotic Telepresence

Lab Graduates