photograph of a blond person wearing a blue and white striped shirt staring into the camera.
Nathan Dennler (he/they)
dennler [at] usc [dot] edu
[Twitter] | [Scholar] | [GitHub]

Hello hello! I am Nathan Dennler, a Ph.D. Candidate studying Human-Robot Interaction at the University of Southern California. I reside in the Interactive and Collaborative Autonomous Robotics (ICAROS) Lab and the Interaction Lab. I am co-advised by Stefanos Nikolaidis and Maja Matarić. I explore the ways in which robots can adapt to different end-users to maximally align with their social and functional goals.

I address this problem in two key ways: (1) through the identification of differences in users' preferences, and (2) through algorithmic methods to allow robots to adapt to users' preferences. I have previously explored how differences in robot design can shape users' expectations of how robots should behave. I have also developed methods to allow users with limited mobility to specify preferences for robots to comb their own hair as well as identifying clusters of users who preferred similar behavior to aid with physical therapy games for users with cerebral palsy.

I previously received a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.Eng. in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In my spare time, you can find me find me figure skating in Pasadena, designing and sewing garments in my living room, or running around the streets of LA. If you want to see me do any of these things (and more!), check out my Miscellany section!


Non-use Assessment in Three Dimensions with a Robotic Arm
Nathaniel Dennler, Amelia Cain, Erica De Guzzman, Carolee Winstein, Stefanos Nikolaidis, and Maja Matarić.
Frontiers in Robotics, Under Preperation.

Designing Robot Identity: the Role of Voice Appearance, and Task on Robot Gender Perception
Nathaniel Dennler, Mina Kian, Stefanos Nikolaidis, and Maja Matarić.
International Journal on Social Robotics (IJSR), Under Preperation.

Using Design Metaphors to Understand User Expectations of Socially Interactive Robot Embodiments.
Nathaniel Dennler, Changxiao Ruan, Jessica Hadiwijoyo, Brenna Chen, Stefanos Nikolaidis, and Maja Matarić.
2022 ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI).
[pdf] [website]

Design and Evaluation of a Hair Combing System Using a General-Purpose Robotic Arm.
Nathaniel Dennler, Eura Shin, Maja Matarić, and Stefanos Nikolaidis.
2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
[pdf] [video]

Personalizing User Engagement Dynamics in a Non-Verbal Communication Game for Cerebral Palsy.
Nathaniel Dennler, Catherine Yunis, Jonathan Realmuto, Terence Sanger, Stefanos Nikolaidis, and Maja Matarić.
2021 30th IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN).