Chris Yee WONG, Ph.D., CPI

Chris Yee WONG, Ph.D., CPI

Research Associate in Robotics

McGill University (Montreal, Canada)

Hello! I am Chris Yee Wong, a research associate in the Responsible Autonomy and Intelligent Systems Ethics (RAISE) Laboratory within the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

The overall goal of my research is to develop robotic assistants for safe, comfortable, and intuitive autonomous physical and social human-robot interaction (psHRI) in the areas of home care, retail, manufacturing, or healthcare. My current research arc involves different aspects of psHRI with humanoid, mobile, and manipulator robots, particularly by examining how robots can be placed in the retail space to enhance and assist the shopping experience of those who might have visual or mobility impairments. By using a multimodal analysis of human posture, gesture, and touch, a robot can infer intention and react appropriately depending on the context.

I am also developing the foundations of Sensor Observability Analysis, a novel way of performing generalized kinematic analysis of distributed axial sensors on articulated robots. My past research involved automation of single cell micromanipulation, quadruped robot control, and hexapod robot leg design.

I am also passionate about teaching using evidence-based techniques, the scholarship of teaching and learning, mentoring, and helping people become better versions of themselves.

On my spare time, I’m a hobbyist maker with my own Etsy store (with corporate clients) and I’m involved in coaching elite youth and university-level dragon boat teams in the Montreal area. Although my blog Ramblings of a PhD is a little outdated now, it has recorded some of my thoughts from having started a career in academia.

Feel free to contact me by email 📧: christopher[dot]wong3[at]mcgill[dot]ca

(Note that this website is still a work in progress. Please use the links to my ResearchGate and LinkedIn profiles for a more detailed portfolio.)

Interests
  • Robotics
  • Physical Human-Robot Interaction
  • Cooking
  • Dragon Boat
Education
  • Ph.D. in Robotics, 2017

    University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada)

  • M.Eng. in Robotics, 2014

    McGill University (Montreal, Canada)

  • B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, 2011

    McGill University (Montreal, Canada)

Gallery

Experience

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
McGill University - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Course Lecturer
August 2023 – Present Montreal, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
Universite de Sherbrooke - Humanoid and Collaborative Robotics Laboratory
Postdoctoral Fellow
Universite de Sherbrooke - Humanoid and Collaborative Robotics Laboratory
March 2019 – April 2023 Sherbrooke, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
Concordia University
Part-Time Professor (ENGR 243)
Concordia University
September 2021 – December 2021 Montreal, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
CNRS LIRMM Interactive Digital Humans
Mitacs Globalink Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
CNRS LIRMM Interactive Digital Humans
August 2019 – December 2019 Montpellier, France
 
 
 
 
 
CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory (JRL)
JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow
CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory (JRL)
January 2018 – February 2019 Tsukuba, Japan

Research Projects

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Robot-to-Human Grasping

Robot-to-Human Grasping

How and where a robot grasps a human may elicit different emotional responses from the human. What are the key factors and how can robots deliberately exploit these emotional responses to achieve a desired reaction?

Comfort in psHRI

Comfort in psHRI

Users must feel comfortable when interacting with robots prior to mass adoption. This early-stage project involves examining several factors that may involve interactions between robots and humans, especially the elderly.

Sensor Observability Analysis

Sensor Observability Analysis

Sensor Observability Analysis aims to quantify the quality of sensor observations of task-space quantities based on the robot configuration.

Touch in pHRI

Touch in pHRI

Development of pHRI techniques with a particular focus on touch interpretation and intention detection for the goal of achieving safe, comfortable, and intuitive autonomous pHRI.

Single Cell Manipulation

Single Cell Manipulation

Automating single cell surgery and manipulation techniques on early-stage embryos, particluarly related to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Hyrbrid Quadruped Posture Generation and Step Climbing

Hyrbrid Quadruped Posture Generation and Step Climbing

Posture reconfiguration and step climbing maneuvers for the hybrid wheel-legged quadruped Micro-Hydraulic Toolkit (MHT). In collaboration with Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield

Recent Publications

This section is currently a work in progress. Please see my ResearchGate or Google Scholar profiles for a detailed list.

Teaching Portfolio

I believe that knowledge cannot be transferred or prescribed; it can only be reconstructed in one’s head.

My overarching philosophy as a teacher, continuously refined over 14 semesters of teaching experience as both course instructor and teaching assistant, is to act as a guide for students such that they stay engaged in the learning process and solve problems by their own reasoning. The goal is to help students in reconstructing new knowledge for themselves through a mix of evidence-based educational techniques and my own creativity to ensure that my methods are effective.

I’m always interested in new teaching philosophies and methods, so feel free to reach out to me if you want to start a discussion!

(The entries below are my experience as a course instructor, except for the last entry.)

 
 
 
 
 
McGill University
MECH 261/262 Measurements and Statistics Lab
August 2023 – Present Montreal, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
Concordia University
ENGR 243 Dynamics
Concordia University
September 2021 – December 2021 Montreal, Canada
 
 
 
 
 
University of Toronto
MIE 422 Automated Manufacturing
University of Toronto
September 2016 – December 2016 Toronto, Canada
  • Overall rating 4.2/5, enthusiasm 4.7/5, and approachability 4.6/5
    • (Comparatively, the departmental average overall rating was 3.7/5)
 
 
 
 
 
Teaching Assistant / Head TA
September 2011 – December 2022

Two latest student evaluations as a TA: 4.7/5 and 4.5/5

  • Université de Sherbrooke (Oct 2021 – Dec 2022)
    • GEL 521 Identification et modélisation (Fall 2021, 2022)
  • University of Toronto (Sept 2013 – Dec 2017)
    • MIE 422F Automated Manufacturing (Fall 2013-2015 and 2017)
    • MIE 402S Vibrations (Spring 2014-2017)
    • MIE 1064F Control Methods with Applications to Robotics (Fall 2017)
  • McGill University (Sept 2011 – Dec 2011)
    • MECH 260 Machine Tool Laboratory (Fall 2011)