time to compile: an interactive art installation

In Summer 2017, the RAD Lab hosted Catie Cuan, a is a performer, choreographer, and technologist based in Brooklyn, New York. During this residency, I worked with Catie, and RAD Lab director Amy LaViers. This resulted in Time to Compile, an artistic work-in-progress that aims to explore the following themes: 

  1. The Hidden Human Network (that drives all technology)

  2. Are humans becoming more robot-like? (vs. Are robots becoming more human-like?)

  3. Time to Compile (for humans, for machines, for creators)

The mood of the piece is distant and remote yet sparkly and intriguing. Soft elements like sheets, sex, and skin are used to contrast the hard lines of robots, virtual avatars, and transistors. Active, mobile lighting elements cast shadows of both human and robot performers, delineating another world on stage. This resulted in a Conference Paper outlining our piece, as well as a Journal Paper that explores choreographic practices in robotics.. 


Time to compile will be shown at the following locations: 

  • February 16, 2018 – Time to Compile paper presentation at the Symposium, Ammerman Center at Connecticut College. More here.

  • February 17, 2018 – Time to Compile section 1 showing at the Biennial Symposium.

  • March 5-9, 2018 – Residency at Brown University.

  • March 9, 2018 – Time to Compile section 1 and 2 showings at the Granoff Center at Brown University as part of the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces. More here.

  • April 21, 2018 – Time to Compile section 1 showing through ARTS@Tech at the Ferst Center. More here.

automation supporting prolonged independent residence of the elderly 

As a graduate student at the Robotics Automation and Dance (RAD) Lab, my primary focus of research is in exploring the role of "expressivity" in robotic systems. I developed a design methodology for projecting character archetypes onto robotic systems, with the goal of increasing user acceptance and comfort levels. Initial tests involved the abstraction of characters, "Tigger" and "Eeyore" from the children's book Winnie the Pooh. This resulted in publications listed here, and here



Pygmalion Festival

Technology exhibit for the Pygmalion Festival, where we made drones follow trajectories based on touch input to an android phone. We recorded the trajectories using long-exposure photography to get some pretty cool results.



Particle Image Velocimetry

In Summer 2015, I worked with Gianluca Blois and Venanzio Cicella to explore the use of quadcopters in recording data for Particle Image Velocimetry. This was especially fun as it involved flying a huge quadcopter over a flowing river. The project concluded in a paper submitted to River Flow 2016.


Public Safety

In Summer 2015, I worked with the Illinois Fire Service Institute and performed test flights to use drones in standard operating procedure. This involved the use of IR Cameras and OpenCV to identify key areas of danger. Unfortunately, due to ambiguity in FAA rules at the time, we were barred from further outdoor flights. 


Desktop Solar Charger

In Summer 2014, I worked with Professor Placid Ferreira to create for a proof of concept of a desktop solar battery charger. I used design thinking methodologies, and  Creo/ProEngineer to design mechanism and 3D models.



In Fall 2015, I worked with Intelinar, an aerial imagery analytics startup that is looking to bring smart drone technologies to precision farming applications. I worked with Tyler Leman in order to create rolling-wave product development cycle for collecting image data samples. I designed and 3D printed a custom mount for DJI quadcopters, and assembled off-the-shelf UAV solutions.

Manufacturing and Automation

In Fall 2014, I was selected as an Intern at Hero Majestic Motor corp., where I had previously done a job shadow in January 2014. I was the intern in charge of machine optimization, where I worked on projects to reduce manpower dependence. I got exposure to factory processes like stamping, heat treatment and pressure die-casting. I shadowed the tool maintenance expert, which was really cool.  

General Motors India

In the summer of 2013, I participated in an internship at General Motors India. As I wanted both engineering and management experience, I was placed in the aftersales department and I simultaneously underwent technical training.


I worked on an optimization project that aimed to improve the performance of GM service centers. The main focus was to analyze methods of data collection through customer feedback forms. This involved looking through massive excel files, which took hours.

engine maintenance

I underwent training alongside GM mechanics and received certification in engine maintenance from GM. I absolutely LOVE cars, so this was a dream come true for me. I learned my way around GM petrol engines, and the tools required to inspect them for problems.

Towards the end of my internship, I found myself in an interesting position, as my optimization project was meant to critique the very mechanics I was undergoing training with. Gradually, I realized they were using methods of 'jugaad' to solve engine problems instead of following the stipulated service guidelines. Combining both elements of my internship, I created a performance ranking system based on a metric used to indicate whether a given service issue was completely resolved in the first service.