Umer Huzaifa

I am an Assistant Professor of Cyber-physical Systems Engineering at DePaul University. My research interest is at the intersection of modeling robot systems and design of human-assistive systems. I am also heading the Program Committee for Engineering in the College of Computing and Digital Media.


What we do

Mathematical Models for Robot Systems

Developing and simulating models with mechanisms replicating human parts.

Prototyping of Human-assistive Devices

Putting mechanical systems to good use for supporting human mobility.

Stylistic Movement Generation in Bipedal Robots

Investigation of variable walking behaviors in bipedal robot models

Journal Publications:

  • U. Huzaifa, C. Maguire, and A. LaViers, "Toward an Expressive Bipedal Robot: Variable Gait Synthesis and Validation in a Planar Model," International Journal of Social Robotics, 12, 129-141 (2020).
  • A. Jang Sher, U. Huzaifa, J. Li, V. Jain, A. Zurawski, and A. LaViers, "An Embodied, Platform-invariant Architecture for Connecting High-level Spatial Commands to Platform Articulation," Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Volume 119, September 2019, Pages 263-277
  • A LaViers, C Cuan, C Maguire, K Bradley, K B Mata, A Nilles, I Vidrin, N Chakraborty, M Heimerdinger, U Huzaifa, R McNish, I Pakrasi, A Zurawski, "Choreographic and somatic approaches for the development of expressive robotic systems", Arts 7(2), 2018.
  • Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

  • C. Fuller, U. Huzaifa, A. LaViers, and J. Scultz, “Core-centered actuation for Biped Locomotion of Humanoid Robots,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2020.
  • J. Lambert, U. Huzaifa, W. Rizvi, and A. LaViers, “A Comparison of Descriptive and Emotive Labels to Explain Human Perception of Gait Styles on a Compass Walker in Variable Contexts,“ International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (Ro-Man), 2019.
  • U. Huzaifa, C. Fuller, J. Schultz, and A. LaViers, "Toward a Bipedal Robot with Variable Gait Styles: Sagittal Forces Analysis in a Planar Simulation and a Prototype Ball-Tray Mechanism," IEEE/RSJ International Conference of Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2019.
  • U Huzaifa & A LaViers, “Coordination, Symmetry, and Grouping Parameters for Redundant Movement Strategies for Articulated Platforms,” IEEE International conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2017.
  • U Huzaifa, C Bernier, Z Calhoun, G Heddy, C Kolhout, B Libowitz, A moenning, J Ye, C Maguire, and A LaViers, “Embodied Movement Strategies for Development of a Core-located Actuation Walker,” IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), 2016. (Best Poster Finalist)
  • U Huzaifa and A LaViers, “ Control Design for Planar Model of a Core-located Actuation Walker”, IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), 2016.
  • G Heddy, U Huzaifa, P Beling, Y Haimes, J Marvel, “Linear Temporal Logic (LTL) Based Monitoring of Smart Manufacturing Systems”, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society, 2015.
  • L Bobadilla, T T Johnson, A LaViers, U Huzaifa, “Verified Planar Formation Control Algorithms by Composition of Primitives ”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 2015.
  • At Human-centered Robotics Lab (HRL), we are studying modeling and design of robotic systems aimed at replicating human-like behaviors and assistive systems that support human activity. We are located in the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) as a part of DePaul University.

    Present Team Members:

  • Umer Huzaifa, PhD (Lab Director)
  • Ziyan Liu (Graduate Student in Computer Science)
  • Jesus Duran (Graduate Research Assistant)
  • Sabah Mawji (Undergraduate Research Assistant)
  • Zeid Ghalyoun (Undergraduate Research Assistant)
  • Chris Nadolny (Undergraduate Research Assistant)
  • Alumni:

  • Thomas McNeal
  • Kyle Brown
  • Kirsten Rockey
  • Prospective Students:

    We are looking for students–currently enrolled in DePaul University–excited to work on robotic applications for collaboration with humans in different scenarios. The projects will include but are not limited to:

  • Biomechanical modeling of human walking in software
  • Machine learning based movement design of robots
  • Designing service robots in different scenarios
  • Experience in the following areas is recommended:
  • Programming in any of the languages: Python, MATLAB, C++.
  • Development of hardware mechanical design, 3D printing, CAD tools
  • Micro-controller programming and sensor interfacing
  • Email Prof. Umer Huzaifa with your CV and a paragraph on what interests you about this area. Please go through the Research and Publications sections for gaining a better idea about my research interest.

    Fall Quarter 2021:

    CSC 375/475: Introduction to Robotics
    CSC 241: Introduction to Programming

    Past Teaching:

    Course Name Institute Academic Term(s)
    Introduction to Programming (CSC 241) DePaul University, USA Fall 2020-21, Fall 2021-22
    Linear Systems (CSE 361) DePaul University, USA Winter 2020-21
    Foundations of Cyber-physical Computing (CSE 362) DePaul University, USA Spring 2020-21
    Elements of Electrical Engineering (ECE 206) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, USA Winter 2019 - 20, Spring 2020
    Electrical Systems Lab (ES 213L) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, USA Fall 2019, Winter 2019-20
    Electrical Systems (ES 213) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, USA Fall 2019
    Dynamics of Mechanical Systems (ME 340) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA Spring 2019
    Digital Logic Fundamentals (EE 208) National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Fall 2012, Spring 2013
    Control Systems (EE 432) National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Fall 2012, Fall 2013
    Microprocessor & Digital Systems (EE 219) National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Spring 2013
    Electric Circuits (EE 110) National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Summer 2013
    Data Structures (EC 211) National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Summer 2013

    Referee Services:

    Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)
    IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
    IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
    ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
    IEEE Multi-conference on Systems and Control Robotics and Autonomous Systems
    IEEE International Conference on Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics (BioRob)
    Judge at Central Arkansas Science Fair (CARSEF), 2014

    Organizational and Community Services:

    Panellist on IEEE seminar on Graduate School Admissions at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Fall 2019
    Organized Introductory LEGO Robotics workshop series in Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center, Urbana in Spring
    2018 Co-organized Robotics Seminar Series in UIUC 2016 - 2019.
    Chaired a session in IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium (SIEDS), 2015.
    Judge in Central Arkansas Regional Science & Engineering Fair (CARSEF), 2014.
    Technical Lead NUST Volunteers Club (NVC) 2011 - 2012.

    Get in touch

    Feel free to fill in the following form to reach out me.

    • Address

      CDM 705
      243 S Wabash Avenue,
      Chicago, IL 60604
    • Email

      m lastname at
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