Allison Okamura is currently Professor in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University, with a courtesy appointment in computer science. She was previously Professor and Vice-Chair of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. She has been an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics, editor-in-chief of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation Conference Editorial Board, an editor of the International Journal of Robotics Research, and co-chair of the IEEE Haptics Symposium. Her awards include the 2020 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Technical Achievement Award, 2019 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Service Award, 2016 Duca Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, 2009 IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, 2005 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award, and 2004 NSF CAREER Award. Her academic interests include haptics, teleoperation, virtual environments and simulators, medical robotics, soft robotics, neuromechanics and rehabilitation, prosthetics, and education.
Allison explains haptic devices as electro-mechanical devices that mediate communication between the user and a computer via the sense of touch, and require actuation. She reveals the haptic illusions that enable human tactile perception with minimal actuation by exploiting multi-sensory cues. She also explores opportunities for haptics to can enable human discovery and communication of information, realistic scenes, and affect.