Research

My overarching research vision is to better understand embodied intelligence by creating new physical forms and analyzing how current digital forms are created. I pursue this vision through two branches: robot design and networked cultures. These two approaches combine to form a unified approach for more ethical embodiment both on and off-screen.


Robotics

Digital Intelligence, Physical Embodiment

In robotics, my focus is on computational material robots -- robots with advanced functionality through the algorithmic design of their material properties. Robotics is traditionally the combination of three fields: mechanical engineering, computer science and electrical engineering. Recently, there has been more of a push to add a fourth field to the mix, material science, creating new material robots that use the embedded intelligence within their material properties to create new techniques. My goal is to create customizable computational material robotics so that given a task, robots can be autonomously designed, optimized and fabricated for any application. This has led me to create novel soft robotic manipulators and modular volumetric actuators, as well as explored the needed sensors and computation to allow for these robots to interact with their environment and be produced efficiently.

Handed Shearing Auxetics (HSAs)

2018 -- present

Novel metamaterial allows us to couple twisting with extension, creating simple yet strong actuation

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Soft HSA-based Manipulators

2019 -- present

Soft grippers that are more robust and easier to control than their pneumatic counterparts. Basis for multiplexed manipulation and recycling-sorting robots

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Auxbots

2019 -- present

Modular volumetric actuators allow us to achieve independent voxel-based designs

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Internet Studies

Physical Intelligence, Digital Embodiment

In media studies, my focus is on better understanding how one's digital identity is formed, especially when it's created by someone else. I draw from infrastructure studies, feminist studies and ethnographic methods to do this analysis, in the hopes of avoiding the current conflicts in identity creation from repeating in robotic design.

How to Survive a Public Faming

2017 -- present

Using an autoethnographic reflection on my experiences on Jeopardy to better understand non-consensual image creation

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Personal Data Metaphors

2017 -- present

Constructing alternative legal frameworks for privacy by unpacking the metaphors we use for personal data

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Human-Robotics Interaction Research

Bridging the Physical-Digital Divide

Stay tuned for more research!