Ziven Lopez (COE ’27) is a second year Electrical Engineering student who completed an Undergraduate Research Experience at the Carnegie Melon Robotics Institute. His project involved developing a Soft Robot designed to estimate its own position utilizing acoustic signals.

“In the summer of 2023, I had the opportunity to participate in an Undergraduate Research Experience (REU) at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute. My project was dedicated to the development of a Soft Robot that utilized acoustic signals to estimate its position autonomously. This endeavor involved a comprehensive and integrated approach that included designing and 3D printing molds, casting silicone components, and developing custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). Additionally, I integrated audio sensors into the robot’s design and developed Python scripts that not only controlled the robot’s movements but also handled signal recording and facilitated the application of machine learning techniques to improve position estimation.

In this project, I delved into the complexities of robotic proprioception, exploring innovative ways to enhance the robot’s awareness of its physical position. As the summer drew to a close, I composed a research paper detailing the findings and innovations. This paper has since been accepted and published by the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, marking a significant milestone in my academic and professional journey. This May, I am scheduled to travel to Yokohama, Japan, where I will have the honor of presenting my work on Soft Robotics and Acoustic Proprioception at the conference.”

What other activities are you involved in on campus?

  • Undergraduate Researcher in the Institute of Experiential Robotics (Yazicioglu Group)
  • NU Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • NU Robotics Club

What is your favorite Honors memory?

My favorite honors memory was attending the various LLC events around Boston. Most notably, going to a Red Sox game with my friends and getting a free Hot Dog from my LLC mentor.

What events or activities would you recommend to new Honors students?

I would recommend getting hands on experience as soon as possible. This comes both in clubs, as well as in undergraduate research. Having real world skills and project examples are extremely valuable. It’s opened so many doors for me and allowed me to get an incredible 1st co-op at Amazon Robotics.