Faculty Directory
Brenna Argall

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech Room M194
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-0862Email Brenna Argall


Brenna Argall's Homepage

Assistive & Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory (argallab)


Computer Science

Mechanical Engineering


Master of Science in Robotics Program


Ph.D. in Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

M.S. in Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

B.S. in Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Research Interests

It is an irony that often the more severe a person's motor impairment, the more challenging it is for them to operate the very assistive machines which might enhance their quality of life. A primary aim of my lab is to address this confound by incorporating robotics autonomy and intelligence into assistive machines---turning the machine into a kind of robot, and offloading some of the control burden from the user to the machine. Robots already synthetically sense, act in and reason about the world, and these technologies can be leveraged to help bridge the gap left by sensory, motor or cognitive impairments in the users of assistive machines.

My research lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence, rehabilitation robotics and machine learning. A distinguishing theme present within many of my lab's projects is that the machine automation is customizable---to a user's physical abilities, personal preferences or even financial means. A fundamental question that arises time and again throughout many of our projects is how exactly to share control between the robot and the human user, and how to adapt these control formulations over time as the human changes. We are working with a range of hardware platforms, from a smart wheelchair to assistive robotic arms.

Selected Publications

  • Mahdieh Nejati Javaremi, Michael Young, Brenna Dee Argall, “Interface Operation and Implications for Shared-Control Assistive Robots”, IEEE ... International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics : [proceedings], (2019)
  • Siddarth Jain, Brenna Dee Argall, “Recursive Bayesian Human Intent Recognition in Shared-Control Robotics”, 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018, (2018)
  • Brenna Dee Argall, “Autonomy in Rehabilitation Robotics”, Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems , (2018)
  • Michael Young, Mahdieh Nejati, Ahmetcan Erdogan, Brenna Dee Argall, “An Analysis of Degraded Communication Channels in Human-Robot Teaming and Implications for Dynamic Autonomy Allocation”, Field and Service Robotics, (2017)
  • Deepak E. Gopinath, Brenna Dee Argall, “Mode Switch Assistance To Maximize Human Intent Disambiguation”, Proceedings of Robotics, (2017)
  • Samer Mohammed, Hae Won Park, Chung Hyuk Park, Yacine Amirat, Brenna Argall, “Special Issue on Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics”, Autonomous Robots, (2017)
  • Ahmetcan Erdogan, Brenna D. Argall, “The effect of robotic wheelchair control paradigm and interface on user performance, effort and preference”, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, (2017)
  • Mahdieh Nejati, Brenna D. Argall, “Automated incline detection for assistive powered wheelchairs”, 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, RO-MAN 2016, (2016)
  • Alexander Broad, Brenna Argall, “Path planning under interface-based constraints for assistive robotics”, Proceedings International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, ICAPS, (2016)
  • Siddarth Jain, Katherine A. Barsness, Brenna Argall, “Automated and Objective Assessment of Surgical Training”, 2015 International Conference on Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications, DICTA 2015, (2016)
  • Siddarth Jain, Brenna Argall, “Grasp detection for assistive robotic manipulation”, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016, (2016)
  • Brenna D. Argall, “Modular and adaptive wheelchair automation”, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, (2016)
  • Brenna D. Argall, “Turning assistive machines into assistive robots”, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XII, (2015)
  • Argall, Brenna D., “Turning assistive machines into assistive robots”, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, (2015)
  • Argall, Brenna; Jain, Siddarth, “Automated perception of safe docking locations with alignment information for assistive wheelchairs”, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, (2014)
  • Argall, Brenna; Derry, Matthew, “Extending myoelectric prosthesis control with shapable automation: A first assessment”, ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, (2014)
  • Pais, Ana Lucia; Argall, Brenna D.; Billard, Aude G., “Assessing Interaction Dynamics in the Context of Robot Programming by Demonstration”, International Journal of Social Robotics, (2013)