UMass Lowell
Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory

Dr. Holly Yanco founded the UMass Lowell HRI Lab in 2001. Research focuses on human-robot interaction (HRI), which includes multi-touch computing, interface design, robot autonomy, trust, and evaluation methods. Application domains include assistive technology, telepresence, and urban search and rescue (USAR). The Robotics Lab also has an active K-12 community partnerships program. See the links in the menu above for more information on our lab.

Research in the lab is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Army Research Office, and Microsoft Research. UMass Lowell offers a robotics minor. Some of the students in this minor participate in the lab's research together with the lab's MS and PhD students.

Dr. Yanco received an NSF Career Award in 2005.

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Fall 2020 Office Hours:
Mondays 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Tuesdays 11:00am - 1:00pm
and by appointment (email for Zoom link)
Fall 2020 Courses:


Campus Address: DAN 315
Mail Address:
Dept. of Computer Science
1 University Avenue
Lowell, MA 01854
Phone: 978-934-3642
Fax: 978-934-3551
Laboratory Web Page:

Holly Yanco is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at UMass Lowell, joining the faculty in July 2001. She is also the director of the
New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center.

She founded the Human-Robot Interaction Lab which consists of students at all stages of their careers, from freshmen to doctoral candidates. Dr. Yanco's research interests include human-robot interaction, better visualization of sensor data, adjustable autonomy, urban search and rescue, assistive technology, and robotics education. Her lab is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, Microsoft and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Dr. Yanco co-developed the Artbotics program, which combines art and computer science in a curriculum for high school and college students. She was the PI of the NSF-funded (DUE-0231363) development of Pyro, a Python-based robotics curriculum, which was selected as the Premier Courseware of 2005 by NEEDS. She has received teaching awards from UMass Lowell and MIT.

She is the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. She has served on the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (2006-2009), as the Symposium Chair for AAAI (2002-2005) and as the Exhibition Co-Chair of the ACM/IEEE Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (2007-2009).

Prior to joining the UMass Lowell faculty, Dr. Yanco taught at Boston College, ArsDigita University and Wellesley College. She received her PhD (2000) and MS degrees from MIT and her BS degree from Wellesley College, all in Computer Science.

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