Lab Director

Daniel Szafir

Dr. Daniel Szafir is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and the Department of Information Science and is an affiliate of the CU Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV), the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS), the Center for Neuroscience, and the Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP) program. Dr. Szafir’s research interests, which span the fields of human-robot interaction (HRI) and human-computer interaction (HCI), involve exploring how emerging interactive technologies, such as small aerial robots, wearable devices, and immersive virtual environments, may be designed to provide new forms of assistance to users in domains including collaborative work, education, and space exploration. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2015 and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30: Science list in 2017. Dr. Szafir’s work been featured in a variety of media outlets, including New Scientist, Engadget, and Discovery News, and his research collaborators and sponsors have included NASA, the National Science Foundation, Google, Intel, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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Visiting and Postdoctoral Researchers

Midhun Sreekumar

Dr. Sreekumar is a SSERVI funded Postdoctoral Associate working on development of a lunar environment simulator for surface telerobotics and remote exploration. His research focuses on modeling lunar regolith and investigating how backscatter and shadow-hiding at low phase angles may cause temporary blinding/saturation of optical sensors. Midhun received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in Robotics. His research interests include theoretical kinematics, dynamics, path planning, obstacle avoidance and classical control.

Graduate Students

Arth Beladiya

Arth is a second year Mechanical Engineering Masters Student. His reseach involves integrating more efficient inverse Kinematic solvers on the Fetch, a one-armed mobile manipulator, integrating Virtual Reality control to it and developing its experimental procedures. His research interests lie in robot control, planning and manipulation and their integration with machine learning algorithms.


Connor Brooks

Connor is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science. He is interested in creating novel methods for active cognitive modeling of humans to give robotic systems a deeper understanding of human actions for use in planning and acting. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing soccer, snowboarding, and exploring the great state of Colorado.

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Dan Prendergast

Dan is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science. He received a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a M.A. in International Relations from American Military University, and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dan spent 9 years in the Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot and forward air controller. After leaving active duty, he spent 4 years as a systems engineer working on the Ground Control Station for Predator/Reaper unmanned aircraft at General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Finally, he managed contractor aviation operations overseas for the U.S. Army before returning to full time study at CU Boulder in 2016. Dan is interested in autonomous planning/execution, artificial intelligence, and human-robot teams. Currently he is investigating hierarchical task network (HTN) planning for teams of multiple homogeneous robots. He was recently married, and Dan and his wife just celebrated the birth of a baby girl.

Darren Guinness

Darren is a fifth year PhD student focusing on how consumer robotics and actuated toys can be leveraged for non-visual accessibility purposes including creating robotic interface controllers, creating touch-accessible haptic diagrams and videos, and other work focusing on conveying educational content. Darren also works in the Superhuman Computing Lab under Dr. Shaun Kane and enjoys playing Water Polo and Basketball in his free time.

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Hooman Hedayati

Hooman is one of the humans working in the IRON-Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a 4th-year Ph.D. student working on Human-Robot Interaction. His main research interest is to find "what" type of information should a robot convey to humans and "how" to present such information. To answer the "how", he often uses novel solutions such as augmented reality and gestures. His second interest is reasoning about multi-party conversational groups (also known as F-formations) with robots. Hooman has a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and M.Sc. in Computer Science. He plays chess when he is bored or under pleasure, so far he has played 9000 games since he started his Ph.D. career.

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Hyerin Seok

Hyerin is a Master's Student of ATLAS. She has a B.S. in Multimedia Science and a M.S. in Computer Science, specializing in Virtual/Augmented Reality, and Human Computer Interaction, with experience in Web Development, Mobile Development, User Experience, Computer Vision, Computer Graphics and Graphic Designing. She is most interested in the concept of STEAM and HCI possibilities of XR.

Michael Walker

Michael is a second-year Computer Science PhD student working with Professor Daniel Szafir at the University of Colorado Boulder. He conducts research as a member of both Dr. Szafir’s Interactive Robotics and Novel Technologies Lab and Dr. Burn’s Network for Exploration and Space Science team. His work builds on prior research to further explore the potential of novel augmented reality and virtual reality interfaces for facilitating both collocated and distal human-robot interactions. With his studies, Michael hopes to provide guidance on multiple aspects of enhancing traditional robot interface designs for robot teleoperation and supervision.

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Undergraduate Students

Corbin Peters

Corbin is in his third and final year studying Technology Arts and Media. He loves VR/AR, UI/UX, and P2P tech. He is currently working on a P2P architecture for VR headsets as well as a holographic operating system.

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Daniel Koris

Dan is a third-ish year CS Undergrad Student. In 2018, he transferred to CU Boulder from a Durham Technical Community College in North Carolina. Dan has been immersing himself in the world of robotics since 2016, and his personal focus is on aerospace or extra-terrestrial applications of robotic systems. Currently, he is leveraging his experience with ROS and project management to help bring some recent IRON Lab research to the commercial 'space.'

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Sky Johnson

Sky is currently studying Computer Science and Technology Arts and Media in the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sky has a wide variety of interests ranging from VR/AR interactions and untilizations, Data Science, Game Development, Art, Cars, and Photography. He plans to combine his experiences from his studies to create more immersive and interesting interactions with technology. Currently he is using his backgrounds in Unity and VR/AR to help bring some recent IRON Lab research to the commercial 'space.'


Lab Alumni

Catherine Elisa Diaz

Catherine completed her B.S. in Computer Science in 2019. As an undergraduate, she worked in the IRON Lab applying her knowledge of graphics and computer vision to the development of augmented reality technologies. She now works for Microsoft on the HoloLens team.