Samir Menon

I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, where I am co-advised by Oussama Khatib and Kwabena Boahen.

I am presently working to understand and model neural control of the musculoskeletal system. The ability to coordinate muscles and resolve inter-task conflicts is fundamental to human motor control, and underlies even simple motions like holding a cup with a hand and flipping a switch with the same arm’s elbow. My research involves applying insights from humanoid robotics to predict how the brain should coordinate multiple tasks, and using functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the brain regions responsible.

In the past, I worked as a Software Design Engineer with Microsoft India R&D. Before that, I was an undergraduate at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad and majored in Information Technology.

You may also find me on the Manips Lab and the Brains in Silicon Lab.

Samir Menon

Latest Updates

Stanford Robotics Seminar
Jan-May 2014: Organized the Stanford Robotics Seminar. [link]
Talks by the lab members of Oussama Khatib, Allison Okamura, Mark Cutkosky, Scott Delp, Ken Salisbury, Marco Pavone, and Pieter Abbeel.
Jack Zhu, Samir Menon, and Hari Ganti
Jan 2014: Our work on Haptic fMRI was featured by Stanford on Twitter, and Facebook.
Great going Hari Ganti and Jack Zhu. Credit to the missing team members, Gerald Brantner, Chris Aholt and Michelle Yu.
Jack Zhu, Samir Menon, and Hari Ganti
Dec 2013: Our demonstration at NIPS 2013 was in the news.   New York Times,   NDTV (India),   the Sydney Morning Herald,   Sohu (China),   CSDN (China),   SABAH (Turkey),   BGR, and   Crazy Engineers.
Read about the technical details here: [BioRob 2014 Paper]; [NIPS 2013 Demonstration].


Peer-Reviewed Publications

[Accepted; in press] Menon. S, Ganti. H, Khatib. O, “Using Haptic fMRI to Enable Interactive Motor Neuroimaging Experiments”, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics: Experimental Robotics. Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Yu. M, Kay. K, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI : Accurately Estimating Neural Responses in Motor, Pre-Motor, and Somatosensory Cortex During Complex Motor Tasks”, (Oral), Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Stanley. A, Zhu. J, Okamura. A, Khatib. O, “Mapping Stiffness Perception in the Brain with an fMRI-Compatible Particle-Jamming Haptic Interface”, (Oral), Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Quigley. P, Yu. M, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI : Using Classification to Quantify Task-Correlated Noise during Goal-Directed Reaching Motions”, (Oral), Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Fok. S, Neckar. A, Khatib. O, Boahen. K, “Controlling Articulated Robots in Task-Space with Spiking Silicon Neurons”, (Oral), Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, 2014 Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Klingbeil. E, Menon. S, Go. K, Khatib. O, “Using Haptics To Identify Human Contact Control Strategies For Six Degree-of-Freedom Tasks”, (Oral), World Haptics Sympoisium, 2014. [IEEE] Download paper Bibtex

[2013] Menon. S, Brantner. G, Aholt. C, Kay. K, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI : Combining Functional Neuroimaging with Haptics for Studying the Brain's Motor Control Representation”, (Oral), Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pages 4137–4142, 2013 [Pubmed, IEEE] Download paper Bibtex

[2010] Demircan. E, Besier. T, Menon. S, Khatib. O, “Human Motion Reconstruction And Synthesis of Human Skill”, Advances in Robot Kinematics: Motion in Man and Machine, edited by Jardan Lenarcic and Michael M. stanisic, Springer Netherlands, pages 283–292, 2010, [Springer] Download paper Bibtex

Abstracts and Invited Talks

[2014] Menon. S, Yu. M, Ganti. H, Boahen. K, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI: Mapping neural activation during planning and reaching for unconstrained three degree­-of-freedom tasks”, 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 2014. Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Zhu. J, Quigley. P, Boahen. K, Khatib. O, “Using fMRI to Characterize How Cortex Represents Limb Motions”, 23rd Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting, 2014. Bibtex

[2013] Brantner. G, Menon. S, Schorpp. G, Khatib. O, “SVM-based Classification of Motor-Tasks On fMRI-BOLD Data”, (Abstract; Poster), 6th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, 2013 [IEEE] Download paper Bibtex

[2011] Menon. S, Khatib. O, “Controlling Biomechanical Models To Move Like Human Do”, (Abstract; Invited Talk), Biomechanical Engineering Conference at Stanford, 2011 Download paper Bibtex


Blog: Musings on human motor control The Human Motor Control Blog.

Operational Space Control Math Tutorials: 3-dof and 6-dof chain robots.

Teaching: Course Assistant for CS223A Introduction to Robotics, and CS327A Advanced Robotic Manipulation. 2010-11.

Standard Utilities (sUtil): Some random but useful C++ code. stl-style indexed data structures, dynamic typing, template singletons and callback handlers.

Standard MRI Utilities (sMRIUtil): Some useful scripts and code that I use for fMRI experiments and analysis. Also has some tidbits of information for new fMRI users.

The Standard Control Library (scl): A control and simulation framework for robots and human biomechanical models. Includes operational space and joint space control libraries, multi-task null space projections for controllers, and support for physical actuator and sensor models. (In the works, contact me if you'd like more details).

Family: My mom and dad, and my sister.

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    Last updated on June 10th, 2014