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February 22, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

We cordially invite you to join the


Monday, Feb 22, 3:00 PM EST

Zoom Link: https://northeastern.zoom.us/j/96209636039


Assistive Robots for People with Severe Motor Impairments 

Dr. Maria Kyrarini, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the University of Texas at Arlington

Introducing the Open Mocap Project 

Dr. Jon Matthis, Northeastern University, Professor of Biology 


Assistive Robots for People with Severe Motor Impairments 

Dr. Maria Kyrarini | Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the University of Texas at Arlington

Abstract: Assistive robotic manipulators have the potential to support individuals with severe motor impairments to regain some of their independence in performing Activities of Daily Living. For individuals with tetraplegia, which is the paralysis of all limbs, interaction with assistive robotic manipulators is a very challenging task. In this talk, I will present two interaction approaches to enable a person with tetraplegia to drink with the assistance of a robotic manipulator. The first approach focuses on enabling people with tetraplegia to teach the robot how to assist them with drinking. The second approach focuses on an autonomous multi-sensory robotic system, which assists with straw-less drinking. Experimental results for both approaches will be presented. Furthermore, I will conclude the talk with a brief discussion of future research challenges.

Bio: Maria Kyrarini is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Arlington under the advisement of Professor Dr. Fillia Makedon. She is also the assistant director of the Heracleia Human-Centered Computing Lab. In 2019, Maria received her Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Bremen under the supervision of Professor Dr.-Eng. Axel Gräser. The title of her Ph.D. thesis is: “Robot learning from human demonstrations for human-robot synergy”. Before that, she received her M.Eng. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and her M.Sc. degree in Automation Systems both from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Her primary research interests are in the fields of Robot Learning from Human Demonstrations, Human-Robot Interaction, and Assistive Robotics with a special focus on Enhancing Human Performance.

Webpage: https://sites.google.com/view/mariakyrarini/home


Introducing the Open Mocap Project 

Dr. Jon Matthis | Professor of Biology, Northeastern University

Abstract: I will present an update to the Open Mocap project, which aims to develop a free, open-source, camera hardware and tracking software agnostic system for 3D motion capture of humans, non-human animals, and robots. The current iteration looks something like this:


Bio: Jon Matthis is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Northeastern University. Jon’s research focuses primarily on the visual control of human walking, with an emphasis on the way that the biomechanics of bipedal gait shapes the use of visual information during locomotion over real world rough terrain. To this end, he has developed an apparatus that accurately records full-body motion capture and eye tracking data of people walking outdoors over real-world rocky terrain. Using this data, he hopes to explain the way that humans use eye movements to extract information from their environment in order to facilitate stable and efficient locomotion over complex and difficult terrain.


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Presented by the Institute for Experiential Robotics at Northeastern University


February 22, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Electrical and Computer Engineering
Research, Seminar