Atashzar is the director of the Medical Robotics and Interactive Intelligent Technologies (MERIIT) laboratory. His research vision focuses on the intersection of robotics, AI, control, and biosensing to address the public health challenges of our aging and smartly-connected society. The lab activities include networked dynamic systems, telerobotics, neural interfaces, medical robotics, and probabilistic modeling. The lab is supported by NSF, NIH, and several industrial awards. Atashzar is the associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics and IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (distinguished AE in 2021). He is also the general chair of the IEEE-SPS-PROGRESS Initiative to promote diversity in signal processing.
At CUSP, Atashzar focuses on three research directions as follows. Direction 1) Supported by an NSF grant, Atashzar is conducting fundamental theoretical research on probabilistic computational models of networks-of-networks of dynamic systems to analyze and predict the spreading behavior of novel viruses in highly-connected urban societies. He utilizes nonlinear passivity control theory to generate centralized and decentralized mitigation strategies and policies to minimize the spread and avoid echoing waves of infection. Direction 2) Aashzar also focuses on affordable soft robots, telerobots, and biosensing for delivering post-stroke therapy in the homes of patients, addressing the issue of accessibility to rehabilitation in highly-crowded cities. Direction 3) Supported by two NSF grants, he also collaborates with the US FDA to develop robust and reliable biomarkers of neural recovery, promoting regulatory sciences needed for future modern healthcare.