Postdoctoral Fellows

Tahereh Kamali

Research Interests: Machine Learning, HRI, Signal/Image Processing


Melanie Jouaiti

I work on developing robots to help children, more specifically children with speech impairments or motor coordination deficits.

Research Interests: HRI, social robotics, assistive robotics, computer vision, computer graphics


john munoz
John Muñoz 

I am a research scientist and game designer interested in using human body signals to create more "humanized" assistive technologies based on games and interactive systems. My job at SIRRL is on idealizing game scenarios where human and robots can play together to foster social connectivity.  

Email: Location: E5 5437 Website: John Muñoz Research Interests: game design, HRI and games, physiological sensing, biocybernetic adaptation, human-computer interaction.


alex aroyo
Alex Aroyo 

My research interest is to endow humanoid robots with the capability of complex social interactions with humans. Moreover, I study how trust towards robots evolves in time and investigate how overtrusting them could lead to social engineering. I am also interested in the domain of space robotics.

Email: alexander (dot) aroyo (at) uwaterloo (dot) ca Location: E7 5412 ResearchGate Research interests: complex HRI, social humanoid robotics, trust, social engineering, space robotics  


Shruti Chandra

Shruti Chandra 

My research goal is to develop social robots for well-being. In my PhD, I worked on a project to enhance children’s handwriting with help of a social robot. This research contributed to education, pedagogy, interaction design and social robotics. My vision is to integrate social robots in people’s lives that can interact successfully and respond appropriately in real-world, and can sustain long-term autonomous interactions.

Email: Location: E7 5404 ResearchGate Research interests: ocial robotics, Long-term HRI, Autonomus robots, Psychology, Interaction Design, Pedagogy, Education, AI, Machine Learning

MASc Students



Aishwarya Aravamuthan

My MASc research involved multi-stage game design for intergenerational interaction mediated by the social robot, Pepper; and developing a canvas for HRI game design. My thesis is available here. Email: Linkedin Research Interests: Game Design, HRI


Hamza Mehdi

Hamza Mahdi

Biomedical engineering graduate with a passion for robotics. I want to explore the everyday-role of robotics in society. Email: Website Research Interests: human-robot interaction, child play and development, rehabilitation, assistive technologies, robot acceptance


alperen akgun

Sami Alperen Akgun

My main goal is to reduce the gap between robots and humans through my research on robotics and HRI. Currently, my research focus is on human multi-robot interaction and machine learning for multi-agent systems. Email: Google Scholar, Linkedin Research Interests: social robotics, human-multi robot interaction, multi-agent systems


owais hamid

Owais Hamid

I work on Cognitive Architectures for Robots. My current work involves designing Architectures for Robot movement learning using Motor and Vision inputs, along with imitation learning. Email: Research Interests: Cognitive Architectures, Neuro-Robotics, Adaptive Control, Artificial Intelligence



Steven Lawrence

I am a MMath student in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science program at UWaterloo. My research interests revolve around Cognitive Architectures pertaining to the learnability of social robots. I want to explore novel policies to allow for the personalization of robots by actively learning from social engagements and being adaptable to new environments. Email: Research Interests: Cognitive Architectures, Social Robotics, Affective Computing, Human-Robot Interaction, Imitation Learning, and personal AI (edited)


Kevin Fan

I am a Research Assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I am interested in exploring cognitive architecture, memory reconstruction/retrieval, and adaptive behaviours in assistive robots. My goal is to develop fully autonomous assistive robots that can assist people in a highly personalized, intelligent fashion. Email: LinkedIn Research Interests: Cognitive Architecture, Social Robotics, Human-Robot Interaction, Machine Learning, Physiological Sensing.


Victoria Yang
Victoria Yang

Victoria started her MASc in Mechatronics Engineering in Spring 2022, co-supervised by Kerstin Dautenhahn (SIRRL) and Yue Hu (A.I.R Lab), researching in the field of social human-robot interactions (HRI), more specifically in child HRI. Her research topic is on using social robots to help immigrant children learn English, and to overcome obstacles and challenges in life that are associated with language barriers having moved to a new country.

Visiting Researchers


Katrin and Pepper

Katrin Fischer

My research focused on trust and collaboration in human-robot interaction and usability studies to improve interactions with robots. One of my projects involved planning and conducting a study to ascertain how collaboration levels of intergenerational participants are affected by the presence of the Pepper robot. Email: Research Interests: human-robot interaction, trust in robots, social robotics, usability, user experience design


I'm a PhD Student at the RBCS & ICT departments of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy). I study new defensive systems against Social Engineering attacks (traditional and from robots) including humans' perception and physiological features in the loop. Moreover, I'm interested in gamification as a way to design more ecological and generalizable Human-Robot Interactions. Website:,  Researchgate Research Interests: Human-Robot Interaction, Social Engineering, Machine Learning, Gamification, Interaction Design.

Undergraduate Researchers



Aayush Wadehra

I worked on 3D printing and assembling a small humanoid, desk-top robot, known as Maki. It featured 6 axis degrees of freedom, allowing it to move its head, rotate its body, and even blink its eyes! The robot also featured a camera and microphone to act as sensors and allow it to process information from its surrounding environment.



Kritika Mehta

I worked on developing a set of demos of Pepper capabilities - basic behaviours that can then be used in research for different human-robot interaction projects. My work interest included human-computer interaction and user experience design.



Venessa Hughes

I worked with 3D printable robots including the MAKI and Poppy robot. My work entailed sourcing components for the robots, assembling the robots and testing their functionalities. Research components of my work included investigating how additional sensors could be interfaced to enhance how the robots interact with humans and I implemented various interaction games within the MAKI robot. 



Hyunjun (Alex) Cho

I was a research assistant for the social robotics research group, I specifically helped in working with the 3 MiRo-b robots in the social robotics lab, I also assisted in various other tasks around the lab.


derek tao

Derek Tao

I was an undergraduate research assistant and my research interest was natural language processing. I had worked on text generation, semantic analysis, and affective computing. Email: Research Interests: Natural Language Processing



Ana Djurkovic

My focus as an assistant for the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research group is to create a 3D printable humanoid robot, and investigate how it can be used in robot-assisted therapy. Specifically, implementing child-robot interaction games with open source robots such as MAKI.



jessy song
Jessy Song

I am an undergraduate student in Biomedical Engineering and I am interested in robotics research and its applications. I worked on the processing of physiological sensing data and learning about the development of socially intelligent robots. Email:


iris fang
Xiaoxiao Fang

I am an undergraduate student in Computer Science and Statistics. I joined Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL) to work as a Robotics Backend Software Developer.  Email:


shahed saleh

Shahed Saleh

As a co-op student at the SIRRL lab, I was utilizing 3D printing to create the body of a social robot that was used in a study focused on child-robot interactive play, specifically in a multi-player scenario. I was also working on the robot's systems integration. Linkedin Research Interests: Cobots, Human-Robot Interaction, Mechatronics Systems 


Serena Poonawalla

I was a research assistant at the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory working with Furhat robots. My work involved developing a framework for effective human-robot interactions as well as creating applications and scenarios to showcase the Furhat robot’s abilities. Email:


Arjun Verma

I was working under Dr. Ghafurian and Dr. Dautenhahn to enhance the social capabilities of an emotionally intelligent humanoid robot. My work focused on implementing a computational emotion model that would allow the robot to adapt to individual users. Email: Research Interests: AI, Affective Computing


Saad Hossain

Saad Hossain

My research goal is to contribute to the ongoing HRI Physiolib project, thus interfacing Human Physiological signals with Robots. I hope to work closely with the Shimmer sensors to develop software and design algorithms that allow for data streaming, and signals processing resulting in feature extraction of EDA and IMU signals. Email: LinkedIn Research Interests: Artifical Intelligence, Computational Neuroscience


Trevor Yu

Trevor Yu

I am an undergraduate research assistant at the SIRRL. I am working on HRI PhysioLib, which is a software framework that connects physiological signals with social robots. I am working on a software interface between HRI PhysioLib and a wearable sensor and implementing real-time algorithms to extract features from the sensor data.



Ankita Ghosh 

Ankita Gosh

I am an undergraduate research intern working under Dr. Ghafurian and Dr. Dautenhahn. My work involves implementing computational emotion models and modelling facial gestures for socially intelligent robots.

Email: LinkedIn Research Interests: Computer Vision, Deep Learning, Digital Image Processing, Interaction Design


Mannat Kapoor

Mannat Kapoor

I am an undergraduate research assistant at the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL) assessing the impact of smart home devices on older adults. In particular, my work involves investigating studies and extracting data to conduct literature reviews.

Email: LinkedIn


Isha Dhode

Isha Dhode

I am an undergraduate research assistant working with the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory, where my role is to perform literature reviews on studies that assess the impacts of smart devices in the lives of elder adults.

Email: LinkedIn


Mahnoor Fatima 

Mahnoor Fatima

I am an undergraduate research assistant at SIRRL, my work includes extracting and examining data from studies to formulate literature reviews.

Email:  Linkedin


Christopher Ada Armstrong

Christopher Ada Armstrong

I am a 4th year undergraduate co-op student working under Dr. Ghafurian and Dr. Dautenhahn. I am responsible for programming features for the Furhat and NAO robots to assist people affected by dementia.

Email: LinkedIn


Amanda Johnson

Amanda Johnson

I am an undergraduate researcher at SIRRL working with Furhat robots to design social robotic systems to encourage anti-bullying peer-support between children. My work involves developing interface and control features for interactive stories meant to allow children to explore and practice different scenarios.


Saksham Sharma

I am working as Social Robot Developer at SIRRL under Dr. Ghafurian and Dr. Dautenhahn for my coop work term. I will be programming the features for the Furhat robot to increase its utility and functionality and work towards the final goal of making robots easily accessible for people with special needs.

Email: GitHub Research Interests: Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality



Medina Colabrese

I am in my second year of Mechatronics Engineering, and I am working as an undergraduate co-op student under Dr. Ghafurian and Dr. Dautenhahn. My work involves programming software which enables the NAO robot to assist adults affected by dementia.


Abhayram A. Nair

I am working under Dr. Dautenhahn and Dr. Ghafurian to create a platform to enable different robots with different appearances and functionalities to interact with each other. We ask how two different robots can cooperate to perform a task (with applications in healthcare), and what would be the best communication method/behaviour to use in the robots.



Kate Harvey

I am an undergraduate research assistant at the SIRRL and I will be primarily working on a project to design a system for monitoring people's health through smart home devices using a social robot. I will also be working on a project using the NAO robot for developing a program to assist with scheduling and managing daily tasks for persons with dementia. I am interested in the clinical applications of robotics, and exploring how robotic intelligence can be used for human interaction.



Zachary De Francesco

I am a third-year Mechatronics Engineering undergraduate student.  During my co-op at SIRRL, I will be focused on developing a model to allow social robots to learn norms based on their surroundings and their users' preferences.


Garima Gupta

Garima Gupta

At the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL), my work is focused on conducting literature reviews on medical issues and psychological disorders. These literature reviews are then used to map the needs of individuals with the issue/disorder in the context of robot-assisted therapy and education.


Jinghao Lei

Jinghao Lei

I am a 3rd-year Computer Engineering student working as an undergraduate research assistant at SIRRL with Postdoctoral Fellow Ali Ayub. My research focus is to experiment and benchmark cognitively-inspired few-shot incremental learning models.



Isha Sharma

I am an undergraduate research assistant at SIRRL working on the HRI PhysioLib project. My work involves further developing and expanding the framework to interface various physiological signals with robotic platforms. 

Email: Research Interests: Physiological Signals Analysis, Rehabilitation, Neural Engineering, AI


Leeam Ng Tang Fui

Leeam Ng Tang Fui

I was an undergraduate research assistant at the SIRRL working with Furhat robots. My work involved developing a desktop application that allowed children to learn emotions and facial expressions through games and puzzles that showcased the Furhat robot's capabilities.


Aryan Modgil

Aryan Modgil

I am a second-year Mechatronics Engineering student working as a co-op student here at SIRRL. My work consists of development on a Furhat robot and a building a corresponding web application to support older adults.


Nevedhaa Ayyappan

Nevedhaa Ayyappan

Nevedhaa is an Undergraduate Systems Design Engineering student and student researcher at SIRRL. Currently, she is working with the Fetch Robot to study collaborative robots in goal-oriented situations, via designing experiments and developing path-planning algorithms.



Charlie Zheng

I am a 4th year student in the department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. My work involves the use of social robots and human interactions.



Arsema Teka

I'm a third-year Psychology major working as a co-op student at SIRRL. My work involves research on social robots used in health and well-being. I conduct literature reviews and verify information from published research articles.



Neha Deshmukh

I'm a 3rd year Computer Engineering student working as an undergraduate research assistant. My research interests are machine learning and robotics. I will be working with the Fetch robot.



Cheryl Li

I'm a Systems Design Engineering student working at the SIRRL as an undergraduate research assistant. My work involves designing interfaces for social robots used in health and well-being.


Janakitti Ratana-Rueangsri

Janakitti Ratana-Rueangsri

I'm a 4th-year Software Engineering student working as an undergraduate research assistant. I'm working on new software approaches for continual learning in social robots over long-term interactions with humans.



Mathurah Ravigulan

I’m a 4th year Systems Design Engineering student working at the SIRRL as an undergraduate research assistant. I’m interested new human-computer interaction paradigms in the realm of social robotics. My work and studies have been focused on prototyping, user experience, cognitive ergonomics, and software engineering. I’m specifically excited about the application of social robotics for early-childhood educational development.


Mackenzie Snyder

Mackenzie Snyder

I am a third-year Biomedical Engineering student working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at SIRRL. My interests lie in human-robotic interactions, humanoid robotics, machine learning, and natural language processing. In the lab, I assist by using Kotlin to program the Furhat robot, drawing on my previous experience in the Software Engineering field.


Maryam Afshar

Maryam Afshar

I am a fourth year Computer Science student. I am interested in HCI, machine learning and the field of social human-robot interactions. I am working on the setup process for the Furhat mental health robot for children as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at SIRRL.


Agam Soni

Agam Soni

I am a 3rd-year Biomedical Engineering student working at SIRRL. My passion lies in exploring the intersections of Human-Robot Collaboration, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Robotics, and Decision-Making within social robotics. Throughout my academic journey, I have focused on software engineering, channeling my efforts into honing skills relevant to the advancement of social robotics, particularly in the development of Furhat using Kotlin.