Contact Info
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Pedro Lopes is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Chicago. Pedro focuses on integrating interfaces with the human body—exploring the interface paradigm that supersedes wearables. These include: muscle stimulation wearables that allow users to manipulate tools they have never seen before or that accelerate reaction time, or a device that leverages the smell to create an illusion of temperature.

Pedro’s work has received several academic awards, such as five CHI/UIST Best Papers, Sloan Fellowship and NSF CAREER, and captured the interest of the public (e.g., New York Times, exhibited at Ars Electronica, etc.; more:


Focus Areas: Human Computer Interaction, Virtual + Augmented Reality, Wearable Computing

Lopes leads a research group that asks the following questions: (1) what if interfaces would share part of our body? (2) How can we engineer future devices to connect more personally and directly to our body? Pedro has materialized some of these ideas by creating interactive systems intentionally borrow parts of the user’s body for input and output; allowing computers to be more directly interwoven in our bodily senses and actuators.

One specific flavor of such devices that Pedro has extensively explored is devices that borrow the user’s muscles by means of electrical muscle stimulation. These devices use part of the wearer’s body for output, i.e., the computer can output by actuating the user’s muscles with electrical impulses, causing it to move involuntarily. The wearer can sense the computer’s activity on their own body by means of their sense of proprioception. Pedro’s wearable systems have shown to (1) increase realism in VR, (2) provide a novel way to access information through proprioception, and (3) serve as a platform to experience and question the boundaries of our sense of agency.

Selected YouTube videos: VR WallsMuscle PlotterAffordance++

Courses taught by Pedro:

  1. Emergent Interface Technologies (Undergraduate+Graduate, Winter)
  2. Inventing, Engineering and Understanding Interactive Devices (Undergraduate, Spring)
  3. Inroduction to Human Computer Interaction (Undergraduate, Fall)


Human Computer Interaction

Exploring the interfaces between people and technologies

Labs & Groups

Human-Computer Integration Lab

Pedro Lopes
Engineering interactive devices that integrate directly with the user’s body as the natural succession to wearable interfaces.

Systems Group

A vibrant, collaborative research community with diverse, synergistic research interests spanning systems, programming languages and software engineering, software and hardware...

CERES Center for Unstoppable Computing

Andrew A. Chien
A dynamic community focused on reducing the fragility and complexity of computing systems, while also increasing their efficiency and lifetime.

News & Events

Two students looking at a wearable device
UChicago CS News

High School Students Find Their Place in Computing Through Wearables Workshop

Jan 13, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago CS Researchers Create Living Smartwatch to Explore Human-Device Relations

Dec 12, 2022
UChicago CS News

The Computing Pipeline: A Foundation for Diversifying Computer Science

Nov 28, 2022
UChicago CS News

UChicago AI Summit Examines Promise and Concerns for Science and Society

Nov 01, 2022
UChicago CS News

Assistant Professor Pedro Lopes Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

Feb 15, 2022
UChicago CS News

Wearable Device That Changes Perception of Softness Wins Best Paper at UIST 2021

Nov 30, 2021
UChicago CS News

New Wearable Device Controls Individual Fingers for Sign Language, Music Applications

Oct 11, 2021
UChicago CS News

Largest-Ever DSI Summer Lab Adds 55 Students, New Social Impact Track

Jul 13, 2021
UChicago CS News

Ten Papers at CHI 2021 Flourish Frontiers of HCI Research at UChicago CS

May 11, 2021
UChicago CS News

Your Unique Muscle Response Could Become a New Approach to Digital Authentication

Apr 15, 2021
UChicago CS News

DSI Discovery Challenge Awardees Train Data Science on Medicine, Clean Water, and Education

Apr 09, 2021
UChicago CS News

With CAREER Award, Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes Explores Human-Computer Integration

Apr 05, 2021
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