Hello, I'm Gunnar

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Gunnar Beck Nelson

Developer - Software Engineer - Researcher - Scientist - Roboticist

Hello everyone, my name is Gunnar, I am a motivated, high-energy, graduate student and software engineer, studying Computer Science at Virginia Tech , who strives with independent thought, a hunger for knowledge, and generosity for others.

Currently I am a GRA for Virginia Tech's Mind Music Machine Lab and Distributed Virtual Environments Lab studying Human-Robot Interaction, Human-Computer Interaction, and Artificial Intelligence. In my spare time I am a volunteer classroom assistant for STEM classrooms for local Title 1 Schools, teaching students concepts in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. I strive for practical application of research and am always eager to help out whenever I can!


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Projects & Publications

My research and domain focuses on the intersecting fields of Artificial-Intelligence, Human-Robot Interaction, and Human-Computer Interaction. Primary focus on practical application.

  • All
  • Human Robot Interaction
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence

Robot Sonification

In Virginia Tech's Mind Music Machine Lab, I am studying and synthesizing negative emotions to be expressed in humanoid robots, under the Social Robots' Emotive Factors project, while supervising undergraduates to publish.

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Robot Theater

Part of a community outreach program, I teach undergraduates how to code humanoid robots to perform a theater performance, while showcasing our work to local Title 1 Schools in SW Virginia.

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Robotic Surgery Training

With the rise of robotic surgery, there is a present learning curve with surgeons. A paradigm of my research focuses on decreasing the learning curve for robotic surgeons.

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Empathetic Robotics

Can commercial humanoid robots recognize emotions based on tonalities of speech in children? My thesis, based on my NSF GRFP proposal, uses AI to teach Pepper to recognize emotions based on speech.

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International Web-Based Virtual Museum

COVID-19 has drastically affected travel and education worldwide. We, as a team of researchers and software engineers, are creating a web-based virtual museum for the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh to present to students.

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Interactive Google AI

For the Web-Based Virtual Museum project, I am responsible for creating a 3D AI avatar using Google Dialogueflow, integrated with Unity, which can converse with users to learn more about artifacts when exploring the museum.

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Real Estate Optimization

Utilizing machine learning tactics, with customized data analysis, real estate agents are equipped with knowledge of demographic of homes throughout their home state

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Robotic Surgery Image Classification

The TernausNet ML architecture, has been used to classify robotic surgery parts. My talk at the 2021 JSES, focuses on increasing the accuracy of TernausNet using a 40k neuphrectomy image dataset from Imperial College of London.

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During COVID-19, I became a classroom assistant for a local Title 1 School to teach 3rd-5th graders about Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, in a hybrid setting, combining resources from the local university to showcase to students.

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Skills & Tech I Use

Programming Languages & Tools

Languages: Python--Java--Koltin--Javascript


Linux, Windows, and MacOS

Artificial Intelligence

Google Tensorfow, Scikit-Learn, Google Could Services, including Google Dialogflow

Web Development

Bootstrap, HTML5, and Sass for CSS

Virtual Reality

Unity, Unreal Engine, Hubs by Mozilla, and Google Virtual Tour Creator


SoftBank-Robotic's Choreographe Suite and Android Studio for PepperĀ® humanoid robot

App Development

Cross-platform development for both Android and iOS using React.js library and Expo

Let's Connect!

If you need a frontend developer, software engineer, or want to collaborate for research, feel free to reach out! I am eager to help out with whatever I can!


2202 Kraft Drive Blacksburg, VA 24060