Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory

University of Hawai'i Department of Mechanical Engineering

Work in the laboratory was begun in spring 2005 and the research here generally deals with topics including robot-assisted surgery, haptics, and interactive physical simulations.  The common element in this work is that direct physical interaction is involved between human users and robotic devices.

The interactive robotic systems developed for these projects must be backdrivable and lightweight, with high precision and control frequency bandwidths.  These requirements are achieved through small, simple, modular device design which involves physical modeling and simulation, novel kinematics, actuation, and sensing, and fast realtime control methods.  Other topics involved in human-robot interaction include human haptic (kinesthetic and tactile) perception and biomechanics.

PhD and MS Research Assistant Positions Available:

Seeking candidates with experience & interests in realtime dynamic control, physical simulation, teleoperation, and/or haptic human-computer interaction programming for medical robotics applications.  Programming ability is essential:  Candidates must be able to independently produce hundreds to thousands of lines of executable code in C/C++ and Matlab and/or Mathematica for real-time control, interaction, and physical simulations.  Programming experience with OpenGL, real-time and/or embedded systems, human interface devices, discrete control systems, and device drivers is especially desireable.

Spring 2013 RA Position


Active Projects:

Compact Teleoperated Robot System for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Magnetic Levitation Systems for Human Interaction

Inactive Projects:

Linkage for Locomotor Rehabilitation

Active Stabilization Support Frame for Surgical Instruments
Instructional Robot Interface


Peter Berkelman, Associate Professor in ME

Muneaki Miyasaka, MS research assistant

Steele Okamoto, MS research assistant

Sebastian Bozlee, summer undergraduate research assistant

Ji Ma, alum PhD student, currently Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Santa Cruz
Stephan Fabel, PhD student
Michael Dzadovsky, MS student

Summer High School Interns:
        2012:  Wesley Cox

        2011:  Kristen Ige and Lisa Yu

        2010:  Scott Dona and Jewel Montgomery

        2009:  Sebastian Bozlee and Minh Trang Nguyen

        2008:  Alyssa Imai and Mika Nakashige

        2007:  Peiyi Kwok and Reid Sakamoto
        2006:  Timothy Lu and Erin Sanehira



Other Links

Human-Robot Interaction Lab
356 Holmes Hall
,  808-956-9421
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Mechanical Engineering Department