Grateful to be here.

Cyrus Tabrizi pictured in his room, standing between a wall of photos of the people he loves and a set of desks with all the hardware and equipment he uses to work on his ideas. He's looking away from the camera.

Present

Searching for a better way to live with my remote friends, family and communities. Explicitly building for the people closest to me and the best friends I haven’t met yet. They deserve better. We all do

Futures

  • Make something beautiful with my family
  • Help build the stack for remote robot control and simulation
  • Build a pair of Snapchat Spectacles that actually work
  • Submit my thesis on magnetically-levitating haptics
  • Finish what Vannevar Bush started
  • Revisit robotic tunneling idea
  • Accelerate the development of AI-assisted CAD tools
  • Design my own home, lab and compute
  • Support advanced prosthetic development
  • Start building for post-AGI
  • Find a better alternative to long-form reading
  • Have children and love them with all my heart
  • Upload all those photos from college
  • Understand how our bodies work
  • Watch the fourth Matrix movie
  • Work on the desalination problem
  • Help reduce age-related cognitive-decline
  • Create 3D-printers that also assemble
  • Learn how to work with carbon fiber
  • Make things easier for the next generation
  • Improve personal learning infrastructure
  • Work at Koenigsegg
  • Make my own clothes with embedded electronics
  • Build out a minimalist VR workspace
  • Experiment with models for loosely-structured computing
  • Train my own voice model in sync with an Alter Ego neural interface
  • Automate myself out of a job

Past

2019

Moved to San Bruno, CA. It's good to be here.

Worked on an advanced haptics system under Ralph Hollis. There's nothing else like it in the world.

Photo of Cyrus in the research lab where he worked on haptics

Hacked together a holographic video chat with Phillip and Kumail for HackLodge Pittsburgh. We used a Looking Glass display, an Intel D435 RealSense Camera, Unity and ZStandard compression. (Video on Twitter)

Photo of the holographic display showing a 3D view of its creators, Phillip, Kumail and Cyrus

Summer 2018

Reflected on decision-making and unknown unknowns. Still haven't recovered.

2017-18

Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a minor in Robotics. I left the robotics additional-major program early to start the fifth-year research-based robotics masters.

Organized Build18 2018, the largest hardware hackathon ever held at CMU. The completed projects were also substantially higher in quality thanks to the use of CMU's new Maker Wing facility.

Me speaking during the Q&A portion of the Build18 award ceremony
Q&A portion of the Build18 award ceremony. Credits to Larry Rippel
Photo of all the participants that brought their projects to Demo Day
Photo of Demo Day. Credits to Larry Rippel

Prototyped a one-dimensional force feedback device for VR using a custom series-elastic actuator and an external tracking system.

The idea was to build a controller that you could use to feel virtual objects. The tracking system consisted of an NVIDIA Jetson TX1, an RGB webcam and an April tag mounted to the frame of the controller. The actuator was made from a stepper motor, torsion spring and two optical encoders. A Unity application received poses from the camera system and angles from the actuator. It modeled interactions with a virtual environment and sent target forces back to the actuator to apply to the user. It worked in the end but the hardware needs lots of improvement. Completed with a team of three for my ECE capstone class.

Photo of our force feedback controller being demoed

Designed a tool to measure the ability of robots to communicate spatial information to human observers.

The system consisted of a pair of robotic eyes, an Intel R200 RealSense RGBD camera and some lasers + mechanical fixtures for measuring the eyes-to-world transform and the world-to-camera transform. Once calibrated, a user is told to place a ball at a sequence of 3D locations that they think the robot is staring at. The camera measures those positions and the computer calculates the 3D error between the measured locations and the positions that the eyes were programmed to look at. This was used to create an error map over the volume in front of the robot and would help future systems determine whether communicating spatial information to a user through gaze is appropriate or not based on a given precision requirement. I came up with the idea for my human-robot interaction class and then implemented most of it over the course of a few days. It wasn't very robust and it was extremely time-consuming to operate but it worked.

Summer 2017

Interned at Magic Leap's Sunnyvale office on the Robotics / Performance & Data team. Found a gap in their headset calibration process and developed a robotic camera system modelled after the human vision system.

2016-17

Did MakeMIT 2017. My team and I prototyped a robotic food delivery system using a Roomba Create 2.0 base and an NVIDIA Jetson. We placed in the Top 10 and won the iRobot Sponsor Prize.

Demoed ClassInsight at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. This was a very early version of what eventually became EduSense

Helped build out the first versions of ClassInsight with my friend Avi. It's a computer-vision application that generates insights for teachers about their behavior in the classroom as well as that of their students. We used a Kinect and Intel NUC for the hardware and built the application with openFrameworks and OpenFace.

Helped run Build18 2017 and built an electronic instrument with haptic feedback. The idea was to use vibrating motors in the gloves to feel a beat or setting before you selected it. We finished the hardware but none of us had enough musical talent to demo it properly.

Photo of my Build18 team with our custom electronic instrument
Credits to Larry Rippel

Summer 2016

Interned for an Apple SPG robotics team in Seattle. This was one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had.

2015-16

Prototyped a VR shopping experience at MHacks 2016. It didn't work.

Did Build18 2016. Failed.

Facebook's Global Hackathon Finals. Did not sleep much that week.

Photo of me at Facebook's Global Hackathon Finals

Invented a haptic braille display at PennApps XII. My team and I won "Grand Prize: First Place" and "Best Hardware Hack." (This also qualified us for Facebook's Global Hackathon Finals)

Photo of my team with our haptic braille display and the sponsors that presented us with the Grand Prize
My team posing with our haptic braille display

Summer 2015

Interned at Qualcomm's San Diego office on the CoreBSP team. Worked on linker script parsing. I also placed first in the preliminary round of the IdeaQuest intern contest, allowing me to form a team around my vision for a Qualcomm-powered future of 3D-printing and pitch it to executives and engineers. My team then placed in the Top 3 after the second round, qualifying us for the finals.

"Developer of the Month: Cyrus Tabrizi Has a Vision for The Future Using the Dragonboard"

Photo of my IdeaQuest team

2014-15

Taught a class on drone design during the spring semester. My team and I spent the fall semester preparing course content and building our own drones. I led the development of a Lego Technic-compatible one while my friend Adam led the design of the laser-cut model which we ended up using for the class.

A photo of my 3D-printed quadcopter which is fully compatible with Lego Technic parts
A photo of my 3D-printed quadcopter which is fully compatible with Lego Technic parts

Joined the officer board of the CMU Robotics Club

Designed a really over-engineered egg tray for a kitchen-related hackathon I found out about at the last minute. I spent the next ~24 hours until the deadline in CAD but never finished printing it because it wouldn't have fit in my mini-fridge.

Exploded view of my smart egg tray
Exploded view of my smart egg tray

Did PennApps Winter 2015. Helped design a voice assistant that used an actuated body to better express itself.

Did Build18 2015. Attemped to make a calculator with novel interfaces. Failed to complete the project or demo.

Summer 2014

Spent the summer at home working on my 3D-printed 3D-printer.

Photo of me after bringing my 3D-printer to my dorm as a freshman
Photo of me after bringing my 3D-printer to my dorm as a freshman

2013-14

Graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Did research on a new kind of robot drivetrain that uses 3D-printing to combine a leg-based approach with tank treads. Placed 2nd in the "Electricity and Mechanics" category at the TJHSST Science Fair. At the time, this was the most involved 3D-printing project I had taken on and the equipment access and faculty support I had at TJHSST was crucial to my work.

Photo of my six-legged hybrid walking robot
Photo of my six-legged hybrid walking robot
A view of my natural habitat back at home
A view of my natural habitat back at home
Exploded view of the next generation of robot legs
Exploded view of the next generation of robot legs

Last year of VEX Robotics

Summer 2013

Published a thorough Instructables guide to designing my Handuino controller online and it went slightly viral. The guide was featured on the Instructables homepage and also won First Prize in Instructables' Remote Control Contest, Second Prize in Instructables' Arduino Contest and Top 24 in Instructables' Epilog Laser V Challenge

2012-13

Used an assignment for my robotics class to design Handuino, a handheld Arduino remote control. A full description is available on my old website

Photo of the Handuino with a four-wheeled vehicle it can control remotely
Photo of the Handuino with a four-wheeled vehicle it can control remotely

Second year of VEX Robotics

Summer 2012

Designed a 12-pound remote-controlled truck with eight-wheel drive, eight-wheel steering, pnuematic outriggers, adjustable suspension and an 8-to-14 function demultiplexer.A full description is available on my old website

2011-12

Designed a trash-cleaning robot for my Spanish 3 class. Our final assignment was to use the vocabulary we had just learned to describe an idea related to the environment. I had been thinking about the Great Garbage Patch and whether robots could be used to help clean it up. Then I realized that the two weekends I had before the presentation was enough time to build a small one out of Lego Technic and recycled plastic bottles.

First year of VEX Robotics

1995-2011

Played with a lot of Lego

Wore cargo shorts every day

Ate lots of Oreos

Smiled a lot

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