Our Researchers (and Robots!)

A short introduction to our team members and why their interested in the field of HRI.

Selma Sabanovic

Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Professor of Informatics, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science


Matt Francisco

Senior Lecturer


Houda Elmimouni

Post-Doc Researcher in the Department of Informatics

Houda’s research interests lie in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Mediated Communication. She is keen on understanding how humans use technology to communicate and how culture and gender influence such use. She also studies how well designs align with social values and how to make the process of design a value-sensitive one.

Long-Jing (Claire) Hsu

HCI PhD Student

Long-Jing is working with Dr. Selma Sabanovic and Dr. Christina Chung on robots that support older adults and their caregivers. She is involved in research topics such as co-designing robot activities, robot voice preferences, storytelling with robots, and older adults and caregiver relationships.

Leigh Levinson

Informatics PhD Student

I’m interested in child-centered robotic design as well as learn about children’s attitudes and concerns in adopting these technologies as part of their life. I am also interested in using thermal imaging to study the psycho-physiological mechanisms at play during child-robot interaction.

Sawyer Collins

Informatics PhD Student

Sawyer Collins is a 4th year PhD student who focuses on the design of socially assistive robots for mental health. He works to develop new participatory design techniques through games to get a better understanding of not just what these robots should look like, but also how they could be used. He also has a dog named Sunshine and a cat named Monkey who help are a great writing help.

Zitao Zhang

HCI PhD Student 

Cross-disciplinary engineer and technical artiest. I am now trying to make my way into an interaction designer. I’m also an amateur musician that plays several modern musical instruments.

Natasha Randall

Intelligent and Interactive Systems PhD Student

With a professional background in marketing and business management, my approach to design is a pragmatic one, as my interest lies in exploring how design choices affect potential market viability. Both qualitative and quantitative data are utilized to suggest and evaluate features, forms, and ideas for personal home robots, in an effort to determine which may contribute to success in the consumer market. 

Eli McGraw

HCI and ACI PhD Student

Over the past few years, I’ve been working on problems in social cognition, machine consciousness, and human-robot interaction. At IU, I’m interested in exploring how we might apply the concept of synchrony to HRI to broaden our understanding of artificial systems as they interact with, and mediate between humans in social settings. I also love animals! I hope to help in building bridges between animal-computer interaction work and HRI.

Aoi Minamoto

Data Science and HRI Masters Student

Aoi was born with visual disability, and she hopes to apply data science and language skills to build emotional understanding robots.

Andrew Huang

Data Science Masters Student

Andrew is a current master student in Data Science and joined the team in Spring 2022 due to the collaboration in Computer Vision course project. He is excited on discovering the patterns in the data. Before studying in IU, he worked in financial industry and built machine learning models for stock market.

Kyrie Amon

Robotics Project Manager

Kyrie Amon is a social robotics researcher with a passion for improving human-robot engagement through innovative approaches such as nonverbal sounds, emotion detection, and mimicry. With a background in mechanical engineering and informatics, Kyrie is committed to advancing the field of robotics. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and exploring her creative side through art, music, gaming, and all things geeky.

Zach Kaufman

Intelligent Systems Engineering Accelerated Masters Student & Robotics Project Manager

Zach Kaufman is an Accelerated Masters student studying Intelligent Systems Engineering. He has been working as a Research Assistant since September of 2020 in the R-House Human-Robot Interaction lab. His research has primarily focused on robot perception (using methods in computer vision and wearable sensors) for assistive robots being used with elderly adults, children, and in healthcare. Zach is hoping to go on to get a PhD in Robotics after graduating and continue to research assistive robots.

Shekinah Lungu

Intelligent Systems Engineering Undergrad

Agness Lungu is an international student from Zambia. She a sophomore majoring in Intelligent Systems Engineering with a minor in Mathematics and Certificate in Journalism. A few other activities Shekinah is involved in at IU are the Underrepresented Students in Tech where she is the chair. Also, she writes for the Indiana Daily Student under the Black Voices Desk, and she is a part of the Luddy School of Informatics Computing and Engineering Ambassadors program.

Arinah Karim


A programmer and certified crab rangoon lover. Arinah loves reading webtoons and anything Kirby and Pokemon related!

Tyler Barrett

Informatics Undergrad

Before joining the lab, Tyler did two semesters of UROC with Leigh and Sawyer! He is interested in the field of robotics, and He is particularly interested in the security concerns surrounding robotics. Additionally, Tyler enjoys user design!

Margaret Nigh

Computer Science Undergrad

Margaret joined R-House her freshman year with CEWIT as a research assistant and will be continuing here this year! She is passionate about AI and User Experience. So, she is hoping to continue to research robot design for children and help out at the lab in whatever way possible!

Erin Seliger

Intelligent Systems Undergrad

Erin is a sophomore at IU from Northwest Indiana. She’s studying Intelligent Systems Engineering with a minor in math.


Honda Research






Former PHD Graduates

  • Chedomir Stanojevic
  • Swapna Joshi (2016–2022) 
  • Haodan Tan (co-advised with Eli Blevis, 2014–2018)
  • Marlena Fraune (co-advised with Eliot Smith, 2013–2018)
  • Jangwon Lee (co-advised with David Crandall, 2013–2018) 
  • Casey Bennett (2012–2015)
  • Heerin Lee (2011–2017)
  • Wan-Ling Chang (2011–2019)

Former Master’s Graduates

  • Waki Kamino 
  • Chaolan Lin (2017-2018)
  • Brandon Williams 
  • Anchal Aggarwal 
  • Pavithra Ramamurthy 
  • AnnaRose Girvin
  • Jeremy White

Former Undergraduates 

  • Dan Hicks 
  • Kathryn Wallisch
  • Kayoung Cho
  • Miranda Meade
  • Catherine Sembroski
  • Ying Yu Hong
  • Madeline Wolf 
  • Anne Lin 
  • Benjamin Oistad 
  • Anthony Kempiak 
  • Logan Doyle 
  • Kaylynn Jessee 
  • Graham Pedersen 
  • June Park 
  • Anna Holm