Principal Investigator


My name is Dario Villarreal and I received my B.Eng. degree (2012) in Mechatronics engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo and PhD (2017) degree in Biomedical engineering from The University of Texas at Dallas. I am an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering department and Director of the NeuroMechatronics Lab at the Southern Methodist University. My research aims to bridge the gap between current robotic and exoskeleton technologies and the human neuromuscular system. Please find my CV here.



Graduate Students

Wenkai Bao. PhD in EE. I received my B.S. degree (2016) in Automation from Beihang University (previously known as Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) and my M.S. degree (2018) in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University. As a graduate research assistant, I am currently working towards my PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at Southern Methodist University. My research interests include: Biomechatronics, Robotic Prosthetics, Control System and Machine Learning.



Ophelie Herve. PhD in ME: I received my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering with a Biomedical Specialization and a Minors in Natural Sciences at Southern Methodist University. I am actively pursuing a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Concentration in Dynamics and Controls at SMU. I intend to continue my academic career under the supervision of Dr. Villarreal as I work towards my PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a Biomechatronics Specialization at SMU.




Abdallah Jabr. MSc in EE. I have graduated from the University of Jordan in Amman (Capital city), Jordan, with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. My interests encompass all aspects of Mechanical Engineering. I have always been fascinated with Aerodynamics and the way airfoils work in wings, things that fly, and especially the control that goes behind it all. Currently, I am doing a Masters of Science in the Dynamics and Controls discipline. My current research area of interests are optimal estimation and control.



Anna Camille St. Amant is a junior at Southern Methodist University, originally from Shreveport, Louisiana. She is studying Economics with Management Information Applications and Statistics with minors in Mathematics and English. She also serves as Vice President of Membership for Alpha Kappa Psi and is a member of Chi Omega Fraternity. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and learning new things.




David Salinas. I am from Saltillo, Mexico, and I am currently a junior studying mechanical engineering with a biomedical/Pre-Health specialization at Southern Methodist University. After finishing my engineering degree, I plan to go into Medical School and become an orthopedic surgeon. My current project is based on facilitating the effort that an older adult needs in order to stand up by using a bio-mechanism similar to a soft-exoskeleton. This bio-mechanism will allow older adults, or people with knee problems, to stand up straight from a sitting position with little to no effort.



Anna-Marie Garrett. I am from Austin, TX. I am going to be a junior in the fall. I am studying electrical engineering.





Visiting Scholars

José Iván Aguilar Beltrán. SMU-MX ’18. I was born at the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, México. I studied and got my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Processes Engineering at the Engineering Department in Universdad Autónoma de Sinaloa. Currently, I’m studying my Master of Science degree in Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing at Cinvestav Unidad Saltillo, in the Coahuila, México. I’m focusing in the study of bipedal robotic systems, its kinematics and dynamics, as well as the control, the stability and trajectory optimization. My main hobbies are running, practice frontenis, listen to music, and play guitar.




Luis Enrique Hernandez Sanchez. SMU-MX ’18. I was born in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Currently I live in Saltillo. COAH. Mexico. Hobbies: Play Chess , Hikking, Running. Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Universidad Politecnica de Tlaxcala.  Student of Master of Science in Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing at CINVESTAV Unidad Saltillo, COAH. Research  Interest:  Humanoid Robots, Robot Manipulators , Vision Computer.



Luis Novo. SMU-MX ’18. I was born in Guadalajara Jalisco, then I moved to the state of Guanajuato to study at the university of Guanajuato where I got my bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics. Currently studding the master’s in electrical engineering at the same university. my research interests are computer vision , machine learning and robotics.




Silvia Milena Espinosa Quintero. SMU-MX ’18. From Colombia. Mechanical Engineering – University of Santander (Colombia). Masters Student in Mechanical Engineering (Dynamics and Robotics) – University of Guanajuato (Mexico). Likes: listening to music, playing soccer and traveling around the world.





 Aaron Castillo TobiasSMU-MX ’18. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo, Coah.,México, which is also my hometown. I am enrolled in a master’s of science degree program at Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing group of Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV), Saltillo, Coah., México. I am currently in a research program directed by Dr. Villarreal at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. My areas of interest are humanoid robotics and haptic interfaces. The project that I am developing is about robot-human interfaces. My hobbies are listening to music, writing and recording songs and taking photographs.






Luke Mauldin: B.S. EE (’18) now at BAE Systems

Ian McManus: B.S. ME (’18) now at Deloitte

Sachi Sarwal: B.S. EE (’18) now at Lockheed Martin

Perrin Griffin: B.S. ME (’18)

Ashmi Patel: B.S. ME (’18) (Engaged Learning Fellow)

Matt Blake: B.S. EE (’18) (Engaged Learning Fellow)

Daniel de la Rosa: B.S. EE (’18)