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Human and computer haptics research & its applications (human perception and performance in real/virtual environments; perception-based rendering algorithms for haptic HCI). Research on multisensory integration in real/virtual environments (vision and haptics). Conceptualization of innovative applications. My background in both scientific research and computer engineering provides me with special qualifications to solve problems in these research areas not accessible to most professionals in these fields. It also allows me to interact effectively with both engineers and scientists

   
   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


Proficiency in finding imaginative solutions for research and practical problems. Have demonstrated this in industrial and academic positions, involving research, engineering and management responsibilities.

Leadership and organizational skills backed by sixteen years of experience in computer system analysis, design and implementation. My experience ranges from real-time human-machine interfaces to mission-critical systems, and from microprocessors to massively parallel supercomputers.

Self-motivated and perseverant.

Excellent communications and interpersonal skills.

Fluent in English and Spanish. Basic knowledge of Italian.

   
   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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 I explore how humans perceive the shape of objects through the sense of touch (haptics).  I apply this research to Computer Haptics (haptic rendering algorithms) Please see research for more information.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   

 
 
 

 

 


Human capabilities, virtual reality and computer applications 

My consulting services combine expertise in human capabilities and sixteen years of experience in computer engineering. I offer you professional, imaginative thinking to solve problems in the following areas: 

Science and technology

      Haptics: the human sense of touch    in real and virtual environments.
      Brain research and virtual reality.
      Applying virtual reality to solve problems in basic research and in R & D.
      Applications of computer technology. 
      Advice on ethical guidelines for experimentation  involving human subjects (see Experience)

System feasibility and usability 
Public speaking and corporate seminars 

To learn more about these services, please click here, or contact me at 


 

 


2008 Shacklett ME. Haptic Internet: The Next Sensory Dimension. Internet Evolution Magazine (Online publication).

2008 Profiled in Marquis Who's Who in the World, 25th Silver Anniversary Edition.

2008 Clements  A. and the staff of the New York Academy of Sciences.  Biology and Art:Two Worlds or One? . This is a NYAS eBriefing of the conference held at 7 World Trade Center, New York City on April 14, 2007. The eBriefing includes the audio and slides of a featured presentation by Dr. Robles-De-La-Torre,  entitled "Touching Illusory Objects: Sculpting Human Perception through Virtual Reality".

2007 Rizzo S. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(5), p. 734.

2007 The Economist's Staff. "How touching. Computing: 'Haptic' technology is gradually bringing the neglected sense of touch into the digital realm". The Economist, Technology Quarterly, March 8th.

2006 Graham-Rowe D. "The Cutting Edge of Haptics.Touch-based interfaces get to the point". MIT Technology Review,  online Top Stories (August 25). German version.

2006 Robles-De-La-Torre G. "The Importance of the Sense of Touch in Virtual and Real Environments". IEEE Multimedia, Special issue on Haptic User Interfaces for Multimedia Systems,  July-September issue, pp. 24-30.

2004 McGee K. A Touch of the Future: Contact-Expressive Devices. IEEE Multimedia 11(1), p.10.

2004  Rizzo A. Cybersightings. Cyberpsychology and Behavior 7(1), p. 128. 

2003 Rizzo A. Cybersightings. Cyberpsychology and Behavior 6(3), p. 343

2001  Robles-De-La-Torre, G. & Hayward, V. "La force au bout des doigts". Scientific American France (Pour la Science). Invited paper, October issue, p 15.

2001 Friscolanti M. Fingers decipher by force, not topology. The National Post (Canada), Science and Technology  section, August 1st.

2001 Stein R, Gugliotta G and Kaufman M. Making sense of feeling. The Washington Post, Science Notebook section, July 30th, page A07.

2001 Webber J. Nature's press release. July 26th.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


2008 Profiled in Marquis Who's Who in the World, 25th Silver Anniversary Edition.

2007 Member, New York Academy of Sciences. Membership granted in appreciation of an invited lecture

1998 PhD, Neuroscience,Brandeis University, Waltham, USA. Dissertation:“Internal Models of Virtual Objects ”. Abstract. See research for a full description. A new paradigm to study human cognition during action.
Advisor: Prof. Robert Sekuler.
Supported by a Fulbright/CONACYT/García-Robles fellowship.

1995 MS, Neuroscience, Brandeis University, USA.

1992 Computer Engineer, National Autonomous University of México (UNAM), School of Engineering. 
GPA: 9.8 (10 is max.)
Thesis: "Optimal Tree-Structured Vector Quantization with Reduced Memory decoding".
Advisor: Prof. Guillermo Fernández-Anaya.
Supported by the IBM Scientific Center (México City) and by UNAM.

1993-1998 Fulbright/CONACYT/García-Robles Fellowship for doctoral studies in the USA.

1989-1991 UNAM/Control Data Corporation Fellowship

   
   
   

 

 

 
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Please Select:

A. EXPERIENCE IN BASIC/APPLIED RESEARCH, CONSULTING AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS

B. CONFERENCE and AWARDS COMMITTEES AND OTHER REVIEW ACTIVITIES (by invitation) 

C. PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

D. TEACHING
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


EXPERIENCE IN BASIC/APPLIED RESEARCH, CONSULTING AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS 

2004-Present Private consultant and scientist (including invention/grant evaluation and project review) for US and European institutions, including the  European Commission (by invitation). European work performed in Italy, Belgium, U.K. and Luxembourg.

2004-2005 Research Fellow, Cognition & Action Laboratory, Queen's University, Canada. Collaboration with Dr. J. Randall Flanagan on haptic perception of shape.

2004 July Visiting scientist, Perceptual Robotics Center (PERCRO), Italy. Collaboration with Dr. Carlo A.Avizzano on haptic rendering and perception of shape (currently under progress).

2004 June- Dec. Honorary Research Fellow, Sensory Motor Neuroscience Center, University of Birmingham, U.K. Collaboration with Dr. Alan Wing on haptic perception of shape (currently under progress).

2004 Jan. Visiting scientist, Robotics Laboratory, University of Siena, Italy. 

2002-03 Project leader, Petroleum Institute of México. Identified untapped, innovative opportunities for haptic technology R & D in oil & gas exploration. Applied specialized knowledge in neuroscience and engineering to conceptualize related, specific applications. Prepared successful internal funding proposals to develop these applications. Led two PhDs in basic research related to these projects. Consulted for the Oil Exploration Dept. on stereoscopic visualization. Other responsibilities included: task planning and assignment, evaluation of engineering requirements and current technologies, preparation of budgets, advice/presentations to senior executives.

1999-2001 Postdoctoral scientist, Haptics Laboratory, Center for Intelligent Machines, McGill University, Canada. Collaboration with Dr. Vincent Hayward. Research on haptic perception of shape using virtual objects. Discovered how the haptic shape of a physical object can be perceptually transformed in a radical manner through the simultaneous presentation of a specially-designed virtual object. This unveils new aspects of human haptic perception, in particular the interplay of force, geometrical and movement sources of information during active exploration of real, virtual and illusory haptic objects. The discovery has also applications in haptic technology (illusory haptic shapes for new, perception-based rendering algorithms; identification of new human performance/perception factors of potential importance in the design of single or multipoint haptic interfaces). Designed perception experiments. Used real-time programming and the PenCAT/pro haptic interface to implement the experiments. Wrote research protocol, designed test materials, recruited and tested subjects.

1999 Postdoctoral Fellow. Center for Vision Research, York University. Stereopsis research applied to 3D film Technology. 

1997-1998 Research Associate. Brandeis University, Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory. Collaboration with Profs. DiZio, Lackner and Sekuler. Extended my dissertation’s paradigm to measure human visuomotor learning when haptic and visual cues were combined. Used real-time programming and the PHANToM haptic interface to implement the experiments. Designed testing materials, conducted subject testing and recruiting. 

1995 Researcher, Department of Computer Science, Brandeis University. Collaborated with Prof. George Mou to apply a 4096-node massively parallel computer (MASPAR/2) to vector quantizer design.

1993-1998 Original research for my doctoral dissertation (described in Education). Experience in concepts and methods of neuroscience research, including those of experimental psychology (perception, learning, visuomotor integration, normal aging)  and  computational modelling of brain function (neural networks, human memory, physiology of excitable tissue). 

1993 Coordinator of Systems, Multivisión-Comband Corporation, México. Led staff to analyze, design and implement mission-critical systems in México’s leading pay TV company (real-time database transactions, remote programming of setup boxes, automated customer service, database maintenance and benchmarking).

1991-1992 Systems Engineer, Intellimap Inc., México. Developed Geographical Information Systems using the Spatial Analysis System (SPANS). Database analysis, design and implementation. Projects included public works planning and optimal selection of new business location. 

1991-1992 Research on signal compression (optimal vector quantizer design) for my engineering thesis.

1989-1991 UNAM/Control Data Corporation fellow, National Autonomous University of México, Computer Center. Developed scientific computation benchmarks for mainframes (CDC, UNISYS) and applications for university researchers. My benchmarks were selected as part of the test suite used to choose the Center's supercomputer system.

1989 Systems Engineer, Federal Government, México D.F. Developed the information system to track public work contractors. 
 
 
 


B. CONFERENCE and AWARDS COMMITTEES AND OTHER REVIEW ACTIVITIES (by invitation) 

2008 Reviewer, IEEE Transactions on Haptics.

2008  Reviewer, Interacting with Computers Journal, Special issue on Enactive Interfaces.

2008 Program Committee member and reviewer, Haptics in Ambient Systems, Canada.

2007 Program Committee member and reviewer, Haptic Audio Visual Environments and their Applications, University of Ottawa, Canada.

2007 Reviewer, Eurographics.

2006 Program Committee member and reviewer, Haptic Audio Visual Environments and their Applications, University of Ottawa, Canada.

2006 Reviewer, First International Workshop on Haptic and Audio Interaction Design, University of Glasgow, Scotland

2006 Reviewer, Virtual Reality journal, Special Issue on Haptic Interfaces and Applications.

2006 Reviewer, Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems.

2005 Program Committee member and reviewer, ENACTIVE 2005, 2nd International Conference on Enactive Interfaces, Italy.

2005 Program Committee member, Haptic Audio Visual Environments and their Applications, University of Ottawa, Canada.

2005 Reviewer, Experimental Brain Research, Springer-Verlag GmbH.

2005 Awards Committee member and reviewer, World Haptics Conference, Pisa, Italy.

2005Program Committee member and reviewer, International Symposium on Non-visual & Multimodal Visualization, London, U.K.

2004 Reviewer, Presence:Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, MIT Press.

2004 Reviewer, SPIE's Conference on Visualization and Data Analysis 2005, San Jose, USA.

2004 Co-Chair, International Symposium on Non-visual & Multimodal Visualization, London, U.K.

2004 Session chairman: “Multimodal Visualization”, International Symposium on Non-visual & Multimodal Visualization, London, U.K.

2004 Program Committee member and reviewer, Eurohaptics,Technische Universitaet, Munich, Germany.

2004 Reviewer, Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems.

2003 Session chairman: "Open Source in Haptics Research". Eurohaptics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
 


C. PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

2007-Present Member, New York Academy of Sciences. Membership granted in appreciation of an invited lecture.

2003-Present Founder and organizer, International Society for Haptics. The first body of its kind in the field, the Society brings together researchers from all over the world for online lectures and discussion.

2000-Present Founder and moderator of Haptics-L, the international electronic mailing list for the haptics community. Haptics-L facilitates e-mail communication between 1000+ researchers and general public interested in haptics. The members of Haptics-L come from leading universities, research institutions and corporations in twenty-seven countries.
 
 


Teaching experience

1994-1996 Teaching assistant, Brandeis University. Courses: Sensory Processes, Visual Perception. 

1993 Lecturer, Iberoamerican University, School of Engineering, México. Course taught: Numerical Analysis (one semester).

1991-1992Lecturer, National Autonomous University of México, School of Engineering. Courses taught: Advanced Programming, Structured Programming and Laboratory of Computer Memories and Peripheral Devices. 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   
   


2009 Robles-De-La-Torre G. "Virtual Reality: Touch / Haptics". Invited article in Goldstein B (Ed.), "SAGE Encyclopedia of Perception". Sage Publications,Thousand Oaks, CA.  Purchase the book at Amazon.com Legal notice

2008 Robles-De-La-Torre G. "Principles of Haptic Perception in Virtual Environments". Invited book chapter in Grunwald M (Ed.), "Human Haptic Perception", Birkhäuser Verlag.  Purchase the book at Amazon.com Legal notice

2008 Rizzo A, Robles-De-La-Torre G. "Cybersightings". Invited editor, column on WWW haptics resources.  CyberPsychology & Behavior,  11(4): 519-524.

2006 Robles-De-La-Torre G. "The Importance of the Sense of Touch in Virtual and Real Environments". IEEE Multimedia 13(3), Special issue on Haptic User Interfaces for Multimedia Systems, pp. 24-30. Abstract.
Copyright 2006 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

2006 Portillo-Rodriguez O, Avizzano CA, Bergamasco M & Robles-De-La-Torre, G. "Haptic rendering of sharp objects using lateral forces ".  Proceedings, IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN06), Hatfield, UK, September 6-8,  pp. 431-436. 
Abstract. More on the background of this  research.
Media coverage: 
The Economist
MIT Technology Review   (read here the German version).
Copyright 2006 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

2004 Robles-De-La-Torre G & Sekuler R. "Numerically Estimating Internal Models of Dynamic Virtual Objects". ACM Transactions on Applied Perception 1(2), pp. 102-117.

2004 Hayward V, Astley OR, Cruz-Hernandez M, Grant D,  Robles-De-La-Torre G. Haptic Interfaces and Devices. Sensor Review 24(1), pp. 16-29. 

2003  Howarth P, Clemes S, Hodder S,  Moffitt  K, Robles-De-La-Torre G, Ruddle R, Steed A. Review of the "Handbook of Virtual Environments: Design, Implementation, and Applications", Stanney, KM (Ed.). Presence, Vol. 12, April 2003, pp 231-236.

2002  Robles-De-La-Torre G. "Comparing the Role of Lateral Force During Active and Passive Touch: Lateral Force and its Correlates are Inherently Ambiguous Cues for Shape Perception under Passive Touch Conditions"Proceedings of Eurohaptics 2002, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, pp. 159-164. 

2001  Robles-De-La-Torre G & Hayward V. "La force au bout des doigts". Scientific American France (Pour la Science). Invited paper, October issue, p 15.

2001 Robles-De-La-Torre G & Hayward V.Force Can Overcome Object Geometry In the perception of Shape Through Active Touch”. Nature 412, pp. 445-8. Supplementary information
Reviewed in Flanagan JR and Lederman SJ. "Neurobiology: Feeling bumps and holes" ,  News and Views, Nature 412(6845):389-91 , (2001).
Media coverage.

2000 Robles-De-La-Torre G. & Hayward V. "Virtual Surfaces and Haptic Shape Perception". Proceedings of the Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems Symposium, ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition 2000, Orlando, Florida, USA. 

1997 Robles-De-La-Torre G & Sekuler R. "Learning a Virtual Object's Dynamics: Spectral Analysis of Human Subject's Internal Representation". Abstract, Proceedings of the International Conference on Vision, Recognition, Action: Neural Models of Mind and Machine, Boston University, USA. 

1996 Robles-De-La-Torre G & Sekuler R.  "Learning the Dynamics of a Virtual Object: Practice Builds an.Internal Model". Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, USA. 

1993 Robles-De-La-Torre  G. & Fernández G. "Optimum Polytopal Vector Quantization
with Computed Progressive Decoding". Proceedings of the IEEE-CIE International Conference on Signal Processing, Beijing, China. 

1992 Robles-De-La-Torre  G. "A Tree-Structured Vector Quantizer Design Technique for Optimum Encoding and Reduced Memory Decoding Using the Perceptron Convergence Theorem". IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Undergraduate Student Research Papers, San Diego, USA. 
 
 

































































































































2007 New York Academy of Sciences, USA. The recorded lecture (audio and slides) is available here.

2007 ISIR, Universitè Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

2006 Italian Institute of Technology, Genova.

2005 School of Information Technology and Engineering, University of Ottawa, Canada.

2004 The David Bodian Seminar in Neuroscience, Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, Johns Hopkins University.

2004 Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Canada.

2004 Department of Computer Science, University College London, U.K.

2004 Sensory Motor Neuroscience Center, University of Birmingham, U.K.

2004 School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, U.K.

2004 Inter-Departmental Center "Enrico Piaggio", University of Pisa, Italy.

2004 Department of Information Engineering, University of Siena, Italy.

2003 Session chairman, Eurohaptics 2003, Trinity College, Dublin,  Ireland.

2003 National Polytechnic Institute, School of Business Administration, México City, México.

2002 University of Birmingham,   United Kingdom.

2002 Latin American Conference on Biomathematics, Guanajuato, México.

2001 Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Psychophysics Department, Tübingen, Germany.

2001 National Polytechnic Institute, Center for Research and Advanced Study, México City, México.

2001 Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (The Petroleum Institute of México), México City, México.

2001 Universidad Iberoamericana, México City, México.

1999  Center for Intelligent Machines, McGill University, Montréal, Canada.

1998 Queen's University, Department of Psychology, Kingston, Canada.

1998 York University, Center for Vision Research, Toronto, Canada.
 
 

   
   
 
 
 
 

 


Sixteen years of experience in computer system analysis, design and implementation. 

Extensive experience in computer simulation, signal processing, numerical analysis, system dynamics, statistics and probability. 

High-level languages: C, MATLAB. 

Real-time programming of MS and Linux platforms using C. This includes in-depth  knowledge of operating systems computer hardware architecture, real-time data acquisition systems and programming of research drivers for high-speed serial communication.  Experience with eye tracking equipment. 

Programming of haptic interfaces:
  PHANToM® (SensAble Technologies, Woburn, Massachusetts, USA).
  PenCAT/Pro ® (Haptic Technologies/Immersion Corp., Montréal, Québec, Canada). 

Experience in massively parallel computing (MASPAR/2).

Assembly code programming of the following microprocessors: Pentium, 80x86 and Z80, Motorola 680x0. 

 Legal information

   
© Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre, 2000-2007