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Walter Dan Stiehl


    I am currently a PhD student in the Robotic Life Group at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   My current areas of research interest are in the design and implementation of robotic sensitive skins and the use of such skins by robotic companions to interact with humans, specifically in the realms or relational and affective touch.  I currently work on two robotic platforms in my research - Leonardo (an over 65 DOF humanoid robot designed and built by Stan Winston Studio) and the Huggable (a new portable robotic companion which is the subject of my Doctoral Thesis). I am also the current president of the St. Anthony Association of Boston, the alumni organization of the Tau Chapter (also known as the No.6 Club) of St. Anthony Hall.  I also have over 8 years of experience in a wide variety of fabrication techniques including silicone molding and casting as well as other special effects related materials and techniques.  In my spare time I enjoy amateur photography and studying about theme park ride design and pre-digital special effects techniques among other things.