Dr. Nina Robson, Mechanical Engineering


  • 08/12 - Present, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, California State University, Fullerton.
  • 03/12 - 06/12, Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine.
  • 11/11 - Present, Assistant Researcher, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine.
  • 09/11 - 09/14, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, Texas A&M University.
  • 08/09 - 08/11, Assistant Professor, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, Texas A&M University.
  • 11/08 - 08/09, Post-doctoral Research Specialist, Biomechatronics Laboratory, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California Irvine.
  • 10/03-09/08, Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine.
  • 10/98-12/01, M.S. in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of California, Davis.
  • 03/95-09/96, M.S. in Robot and Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Technical University of Sofia.
  • 09/88-06/94, M.S. in Electronics and Automation Engineering, Technical University of Sofia.

Research Areas

At the recently developed Human Interactive Robotics (HIR) lab in Mechanical Engineering Department at CSUF, Dr. Robson and her students are actively exploring and understanding human-robot interactions, specifically designing robotic devices that perform human tasks in real life as well as allowing humans to perform tasks in an augmented reality.
Currently the lab houses a simulated physical environment designed to mimic the rough terrain on Mars, and a number of small rover-arm platforms designed by Dr. Robson and former students to be implemented in the Mechanical Design and Robotics classes she is teaching. The Mars terrain is used for testing the performance of the rover platform suspensions, as well as for experimental studies on joint failure recovery of robot manipulators working in remote and challenging environments. Another area, involving a number of graduate and undergraduate students, is the development of an anthropomorphic mechanical hand that will be attached to a new Universal Robot (UR5) arm, (Numatic Engineering, CA) available at the HIR lab.  The students are working on the challenging task of enabling the arm-hand system to perform pick and place, grasping and in-hand object manipulation tasks. The new lab also benefits the senior design teams, working on projects related to Gait Biomimicry, Design of Mars rovers, as well as Arm Exoskeletons for Power Augmentation. The students have the opportunity to work with a Qualisys motion capture system in order to obtain motion data for their novel designs. The motion capture system also assists Dr. Robson’s experimental work in the area of Robotic Rehabilitation using augmented reality – subject of two new externally funded collaborative projects.


  1. N. Robson, S. Ghosh*, 2015, “Geometric Design of Mechanisms based on Virtual Guides for Manipulation”, Robotica, Available on CJO 2015, DOI: 10.1017/S0263574715000272, pp. 1-16.
  2. N. Robson, Gaby Martinez*, M. Villavecer*, J. Chin*, B. Holloway*, S. Nostrabaldi*, L. Tliliyatzi*, 2015, “Development of a Crutch Substitute for Mimicking Natural Gait”, International Journal of Robotics and Automation Technology, vol 1, pp. 99-105.
  3. J. Buchanan, J. Ramos*, N. Robson, 2015, “ The Perception-Action Dynamics of Action Competency are Altered by Both Physical and Observational Training”, Experimental Brain Research, DOI:10.1007/s00221-015-4207-y, Springer.
  4. N. Robson, J. Skrobarczyk*, A. Wendenborn*, 2014, “Development of an Assistive Wrist Brace for a Patient with Cerebral Palsy”,International Journal of Engineering Sciences and Management, ISSN No. 2231-3273, vol.4 (1).
  5. J.J. Buchanan, N. Robson, J. Ramos*, 2013, “Development of the Link between Perception and Action is Supported by Both Observational Learning and Physical Practice Training Protocols”, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (Abstract), supplement v. 35: S23.

Grants & Special Projects

  1. 2015   Outstanding Advisor Award, School of Engineering and Computer Science, CSUF.

  2. 2015   Outstanding Engineering Educator Award, Orange County Engineering Council.

  3. 2014   Women in Robotics Ambassador, Women in Robotics Initiative, International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems.

  4. 2010   Pathways to the Doctorate Research Assistantship Award, Texas A&M University System.

  5. 2005   Doctoral Support for Developing Methods for the Failure Recovery of Robot Manipulators working in Remote and Challenging Environments, NASA Ames Research Center.

  6. 1997   Finnish Government Scholarship Award for research at Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland.