Northwest Robotics Symposium

May 13, 2022 at the University of Washington

Join us for the inaugural Northwest Robotics Symposium. This free, all day event will bring together students, postdocs, industry researchers and faculty working in robotics. Forty presenters will share talks and posters on papers published at robotics conferences. We hope to help make up for two-plus years of missed in-person networking as a result of the pandemic.

The symposium also invited researchers to share unpublished projects. We did not referee these submissions and are not producing an archival proceedings of any of the works presented.

We are grateful for the support of the UW + Amazon Science Hub.

Live Stream

The opening and talk sessions will be livestreamed. The feed will only be active for speakers who have agreed to be recorded, as indicated on the schedule.

Speakers: Please consider consenting to streaming/recording so anyone who can't join us has the option to tune in.


8:00 Breakfast, check-in, poster setup
8:50 Welcome
9:00 Talk session 1
10:30 Break
11:00 Talk session 2
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Talk session 3
15:00 Poster session
16:00 Demos & Lab Tours
16:30 Reception & Townhall
17:00 Closing

We know many participants will be traveling to Seattle in the morning. You will be able to check in whenever you arrive.

Presenters: Contact the organizers if you have a conflict. Fill out the form you were emailed to provide a public link to your PDF and/or your homepage, as well as to indicate recording consent.

Talk session 1 chaired by Josh Smith (9 talks)
Naomi Fitter "Comedians in cafes getting data: Comparing performances of a robotic stand-up comedian in the wild"
John Vilk, Naomi T. Fitter
HRI 2020 πŸ”΄
Ameer Helmi "Design of an assistive robot for infant mobility interventions"
Ashwin Vinoo, Layne Case, Gabriela R. Zott, Joseline Raja Vora, Ameer Helmi, Samuel W. Logan, Naomi T. Fitter
RO-MAN 2021 πŸ”΄
Ethan K. Gordon "Leveraging Post Hoc Context for Faster Learning in Bandit Settings with Applications in Robot-Assisted Feeding"
Ethan K. Gordon, Sumegh Roychowdhury, Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee, Kevin Jamieson, Siddhartha S. Srinivasa
ICRA 2021 πŸ”΄
Nick Walker "Human Perceptions of a Curious Robot that Performs Off-Task Actions"
Nick Walker, Kevin Weatherwax, Julian Allchin, Leila Takayama, Maya Cakmak
HRI 2020 πŸ”΄
Amal Nanavati "Modeling Human Helpfulness with Individual and Contextual Factors for Robot Planning"
Amal Nanavati, Christoforos Mavrogiannis, Kevin Weatherwax, Leila Takayama, Maya Cakmak, Siddhartha S. Srinivasa
RSS 2021 πŸ”΄
Michael Jae-Yoon Chung "Iterative Repair of Social Robot Programs from Implicit User Feedback via Bayesian Inference"
Michael Jae-Yoon Chung, Maya Cakmak
RSS 2020 πŸ”΄
Brian Zhang "Bringing WALL-E out of the Silver Screen: Understanding How Transformative Robot Sound Affects Human Perception"
Brian J. Zhang, Nick Stargu, Samuel Brimhall, Lilian Chan, Jason Fick, Naomi T. Fitter
ICRA 2021 πŸ”΄
Boling Yang "Motivating Physical Activity via Competitive Human-Robot Interaction"
Boling Yang, Golnaz Habibi, Patrick Lancaster, Byron Boots, Joshua Smith
CoRL 2021 πŸ”΄
Alan G. Sanchez "A Shared Autonomy Surface Disinfection System Using a Mobile Manipulator Robot"
Alan G. Sanchez, William B. Smart
SSRR 2021 πŸ”΄
Talk session 2 chaired by Karthik Desingh (9 talks)
Zhitian Zhang "A Multimodal and Hybrid Framework for Human Navigational Intent Inference"
Zhitian Zhang, Jimin Rhim, Angelica Lim, Mo Chen
IROS 2021 πŸ”΄
Ian C. Rankin "Robotic Information Gathering using Semantic Language Instructions"
Ian C. Rankin, Seth McCammon, Geoffrey A. Hollinger
ICRA 2021 πŸ”΄
Rogerio Bonatti "Reshaping Robot Trajectories Using Natural Language Commands: A Study of Multi-Modal Data Alignment Using Transformers"
Arthur Bucker, Luis Figueredo, Sami Haddadin, Ashish Kapoor, Shuang Ma, Rogerio Bonatti
IROS 2022 πŸ”΄
Wentao Yuan "SORNet: Spatial Object-Centric Representations for Sequential Manipulation"
Wentao Yuan, Chris Paxton, Karthik Desingh, Dieter Fox
CoRL 2021 πŸ”΄
Alan Fern "Sim-to-Real Learning of All Common Bipedal Gaits via Periodic Reward Composition"
Jonah Siekmann, Yesh Godse, Alan Fern, Jonathan Hurst
ICRA 2021 πŸ”΄
Jeremy Dao "Sim-to-Real Learning for Bipedal Locomotion Under Unsensed Dynamic Loads"
Jeremy Dao, Kevin Green, Helei Duan, Alan Fern, Jonathan Hurst
ICRA 2022 πŸ”΄
Ashish Kapoor "Sample-efficient Safe Learning for Online Nonlinear Control with Control Barrier Functions"
Wenhao Luo, Wen Sun, Ashish Kapoor
WAFR 2022 πŸ”΄
Sai Vemprala "Representation Learning for Event-based Visuomotor Policies"
Sai Vemprala, Sami Mian, Ashish Kapoor
NeurIPS 2021 πŸ”΄
Michael Lu "LBGP: Learning Based Goal Planning for Autonomous Following in Front"
Payam Nikdel, Richard Vaughan, Mo Chen
ICRA 2021 πŸ”΄
Talk session 3 chaired by Sawyer Fuller (8 talks)
Kevin Green "Blind bipedal stair traversal via sim-to-real reinforcement learning"
Jonah Siekmann, Kevin Green, John Warila, Alan Fern, Jonathan Hurst
RSS 2021 πŸ”΄
Helei Duan "Sim-to-Real Learning of Footstep-Constrained Bipedal Dynamic Walking"
Helei Duan, Ashish Malik, Jeremy Dao, Aseem Saxena, Kevin Green, Jonah Siekmann, Alan Fern, Jonathan Hurst
ICRA 2022 πŸ”΄
Jonathan Tremblay "Single-stage Keypoint-based Category-level Object Pose Estimation from an RGB Image"
Yunzhi Lin, Jonathan Tremblay, Stephen Tyree, Patricio A. Vela, Stan Birchfield
ICRA 2022
Ekta Samani "Visual Object Recognition in Indoor Environments Using Topologically Persistent Features"
Ekta Samani, Xingjian Yang, Ashis Banerjee
RA-L 2021 πŸ”΄
John Morrow "Benchmarking a Robot Hand's Ability to Translate Objects Using Two Fingers"
John Morrow, Joshua Campbell, Ravi Balasubramanian, Cindy Grimm
RA-L 2021
Yash Talwekar "Towards Sensor Autonomy in Sub-Gram Flying Insect Robots: A Lightweight and Power-Efficient Avionics System"
Yash P. Talwekar, Andrew Adie, Vikram Iyer, Sawyer B. Fuller
ICRA 2022 ❌
Daksh Dhingra "A Device for Rapid, Automated Trimming of Insect-Sized Flying Robots"
Daksh Dhingra, Yogesh Chukewad, Sawyer B. Fuller
ICRA 2020
Anisha Bontula "Comparing the Perception of Vibrotactile Feedback across Frequency and Body Location"
Ryan Quick, Anisha Bontula, Naomi T. Fitter
IEEE Haptics Symposium 2022 πŸ”΄
Poster session (15 posters)
Yana Sosnovskaya "Sensor Fusion for Force and Position Calibration of a Motorized Surgical Smart Grasper"
J. Kaplan, Y. Sosnovskaya, M. Arnold, B. Hannaford
ISMR 2021
Nigel Swenson "Improving Grasp Classification through Spatial Metrics Available from Sensors"
Nigel Swenson, Garrett Scott, Peter Bloch, Paresh Soni, Nuha Nishat, Anjali Asar, Cindy Grimm, Xiaoli Fern, Ravi Balasubramanian
ICRA 2021
John Morrow "Measuring a Robot Hand's Potential Graspable Region across its Actuation Space"
John Morrow, Joshua Campbell, Kyle Dufrene, Nuha Nishat, Ravi Balasubramanian, Cindy Grimm
Brian Hou "Posterior Sampling for Anytime Motion Planning on Graphs with Expensive-to-Evaluate Edges"
Brian Hou, Sanjiban Choudhury, Gilwoo Lee, Aditya Mandalika, Siddhartha S. Srinivasa
ICRA 2020
Ian Good "Expanding the Design Space for Electrically-Driven Soft Robots Through Handed Shearing Auxetics"
Ian Good, Tosh Brown-Moore, Aditya Patil, Daniel Revier, Jeffrey Ian Lipton
ICRA 2022
Benjamin Wong "Human-Assisted Robotic Detection of Foreign Object Debris Inside Confined Spaces"
Benjamin Wong, Wade Marquette, Nikolay Bykov, Tyler M. Paine, Ashis G. Banerje
Vinitha Ranganeni & Kavi Dey "Accessible Remote Teleoperation Interfaces for Assistive Robots"
Vinitha Ranganeni, Kavi Dey, Nick Walker, Maya Cakmak
Rhian C. Preston "Going out on a Limb: Examining How Form Impacts Human Perception of Robot Arms"
Rhian C. Preston, Nisha Raghunath, Naomi T. Fitter
HRI Workshop 2022
Eric Liu "Read the Room: Adapting a Robot's Voice to Ambient and Social Contexts"
Emma Hughson, Paige TuttΓΆsΓ­, Akihiro Matsufuji, Angelica Lim
Carson Gray "A robot walks into a bar: Automatic robot joke success assessment"
Ajitesh Srivatsava, Naomi T. Fitter
ICRA 2021
William Agnew "Robots Physically Amplify Malignant Stereotypes"
Andrew Hundt, William Agnew, Vicky Zeng, Severin Kacianka, Matthew Gombolay
FAccT 2022
Shuang Ma "Looking through inter-frame changes: Learning video representations with dense motion correspondences"
Weijian Xu, Shuang Ma, Yale Song, Daniel Mcduff, Rogerio Bonatti , Sai Vemprala, Chunyuan Li, Jianwei Yang, Vibhav Vineet, Ratnesh Madaan, Ashish Kapoor
ECCV 2022
Sai Vemprala "Learning to Simulate Realistic LiDARs"
Benoit Guillard, Sai Vemprala, Jayesh Gupta, Ondrej Miksik, Vibhav Vineet, Pascal Fua, Ashish Kapoor
Albert Wang & Dylan Sun "Target Tracking Under Delayed and Irregularly-Sampled Visual Feedback for a Robotic Air-Hockey System"
Hui Xiao, Xu Chen, Albert Wang, Dylan Sun
ACC 2022
Fangzhou Yu "Potato Guided Learning of Aperiodic Trajectories for Cassie"
Fangzhou Yu, Ryan Batke, Kevin Green, Jeremy Dao


The Symposium will take place in the Gates Center's events space and patio, Zillow Commons. Enter from Stevens Way then follow signs to take the elevator to the fourth floor.


Forecasts call for cloudy to overcast conditions throughout Friday with a high of 58°F. Pack a jacket so that you can comfortably enjoy the view of Lake Washington from the rooftop patio.


The Gates Center is easy to access via transit and is just a five minute walk from the University of Washington Link Light Rail stop, which provides service to Sea-Tac airport. The University has instructions on driving and where to park. We recommend the self-service E lots along the nearby athletic facilities which are reachable with a short walk along the Burke Gilman Trail.


If you are visiting from an eduroam institution, you will be able to connect on campus already. Otherwise, join University of Washington with:

  • UW NetID:    event0429
  • Password:     E3h7+R5n9+F2a2

Health Guidelines

Per the University of Washington's current guidelines, "wearing a well-fitted, high-quality mask indoors (e.g., KN95, N95, KF94 and surgical masks)" is strongly recommended. If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection, do not attend the symposium. The event space is connected to a rooftop patio and there is abundant seating around the Gates Center so you can easily eat outdoors if you prefer.

Instructions for Presenters

All presenters have been contacted with the format of their presentation and with instructions on how to prepare.


We will have 32x40 poster boards (which you can orient either way) and clips for you. If you are preparing a fresh poster, we recommend a size of 24x36. If you are bringing an existing poster that’s larger than our poster boards, let us know so we can plan to accommodate it. We encourage you to set up your poster during the check-in period so that attendees can look at them throughout the event.


Please prepare for an 8-minute presentation, with 2 additional minutes for questions. We intend to have a single machine hooked up the projector in the event space which we will ask you to load your slides onto before the start of the session.

Calls for Presentations

April 22nd, 2022

This inaugural symposium aims to make up for two-plus years of missed in-person networking as a result of the pandemic. Students, postdocs, industry researchers, and faculty are all encouraged to participate. The event is free.

The symposium will be an all-day affair featuring invited short talks, posters, and social events. The original deadline for application to present a talk or poster was April 13th, and participants have been notified of their presentation format. We have space remaining in the poster session, so we will continue to welcome submissions until a week before the event, or until we run out space. Due to participant demand, we will also welcome unpublished work in the session.

If you do not have anything to present but you are still interested in attending the event, please fill out the registration form.

We look forward to reuniting our community this spring.

March 13th, 2022

This inaugural symposium aims to make up for two-plus years of missed in-person networking as a result of the pandemic. Students, postdocs, industry researchers, and faculty are all encouraged to participate. The event is free.

The symposium will be an all-day affair featuring invited short talks, posters, and social events. If you have a paper published in one of the recent virtual robotics conferences (ICRA, IROS, RSS, HRI, CoRL, others) please consider submitting to our Call for Presentations by filling out the form. The deadline for submissions is April 13, 2022. We will let you know shortly after whether your paper will be presented as a short talk (10-15 minutes) or as a poster.

If you do not have anything to present but you are still interested in attending the event, please fill out the registration form.

We look forward to reuniting our community this spring.


This event would not be possible without the efforts of Emma Notkin, Research Events Coordinator, and the Paul G. Allen School production team.

Contact the organizers at