Alyssa Batula

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  • BS Lafayette College (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • MS Drexel University (Electrical Engineering)

Research Projects:

Research Interests:

  • Signal Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Robotics


I am a doctoral candidate and researcher at Drexel University in the Music Entertainment Technology (MET) lab. My primary interests are signal processing and machine learning, especially as they relate to control and decision-making in humanoid robots.

My current project is analyzing brain signals to allow people to control a humanoid robot. I am looking at changes in blood flow in different areas of the motor cortex during hand and foot motor imagery (imagined movements). The imagined movements are mapped to high-level navigation control for a robot and used to navigate a small room towards a goal area. Future applications of this project could be control of telepresence or assistive robots as well as prosthetic limbs.

Another project I have worked on is using audio signals, recorded via microphone, as feedback for musical robots. Using this feedback would allow them to determine, for example, whether they played a note correctly and in tune.

Outside of the lab, I teach Python through the Philadelphia Python Users Group and Girl Develop It Philadelphia. I also like to hike, run, and generally be outdoors.


  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012-Present) - I am currently funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • NSF STEM GK-12 Fellowship (2010-2012) - I worked with teachers at Central High School and the Philadelphia High School for Girls to incorporate engineering concepts and challenges into the high school curriculum. I also helped start a competitive robotics club at the Philadelphia High School for Girls.


  • Batula, A. M., Ayaz, H., and Kim, Y. E. (2014) Evaluating a Four-Class Motor-Imagery-Based Optical Brain-Computer Interface, Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Chicago, IL. [PDF]
  • A. M. Batula, M. Colacot, D. Grunberg, and Y. E. Kim, (2013). Using Audio and Haptic Feedback to Detect Errors in Humanoid Musical Performances. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Inferfaces for Musical Expression, Daejeon, Korea: NIME. [PDF]
  • A. M. Batula, T. W. Mather, G. Carryon, S. Surrey, D. E. Ueda, Y. E. Kim and A. K. Fontecchio, "Evaluating the Acquisition of Engineering Confidence and Skills Through Robotics" in Proceedings of the 2012 ASEE Annual Conference, June 2012. [PDF]
  • A. M. Batula, B. G. Morton, R. Migneco, M. Prockup, E. M. Schmidt, D. K. Grunberg, Y. E. Kim and A. K. Fontecchio, "Music Technology as an Introduction to STEM" in Proceedings of the 2012 ASEE Annual Conference, June 2012. [PDF]
  • D. K. Grunberg, A. M. Batula, E. M. Schmidt, and Y. E. Kim, "Affective Gesturing with Musical Mood Recognition," in Proceedings of the International Conference on Humanoid Robots, 2012 (in press).
  • D. K. Grunberg, A. M. Batula, E. M. Schmidt, and Y. E. Kim, "Synthetic Emotions for Humanoids: Perceptual Effects of Size and Number of Robot Platforms," International Journal of Synthetic Emotions: Special Issue on Music, Robots, and Emotion (invited paper), 2012 (in press).
  • Y. E. Kim, A. M. Batula, R. Migneco, P. Richardson, B. Dolhansky, D. Grunberg, B. Morton, M. Prockup, E. M. Schmidt, and J. Scott, “Teaching STEM concepts through music technology and DSP,” in IEEE 14th Digital Signal Processing Workshop and 6th IEEE Signal Processing Education Workshop, 2011. DSP/SPE 2011., January 2011. [PDF]
  • A. M. Batula and Y. E. Kim, "Development of a Mini-Humanoid Pianist." in 10th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots. December 2010. [PDF]
  • Y. E. Kim, A. M. Batula, D. Grunberg, D. Lofaro, J. Oh, and P. Oh, “Developing Humanoids for Musical Interaction,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems , October, 2010. [PDF]


  • A. M. Batula, (2014). Controlling Robots with your Brain (and Python!). PyCon 2014 Poster Session, Montreal, Canada. [Abstract]

Teaching Assistantships:

  • ECE-200: Digital Logic Design (Fall 2010, Winter-Spring 2011)

Professional Societies:

  • Eta Kappa Nu, Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society
  • Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society
  • IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • WIE, Women In Engineering

Other Projects: