Hi, I am Ali!
I build interactive platforms that enable novel user experiences, and I design products that make life easier.
Learn More



Wearable Asssitive Soft-Robotic System for Grasping Augmentation


Multimodal Interactive Interface System
(M.S. Thesis)


Autonomous Context-Awareness System for Mobile Devices


Personalized Movie Recommendations via Physiological Response

Escape-Room Designs

Storyboards and Concept Models (Product Design Class)


Context-Awareness System for Quiet Environments


Emotional I/O Interface.
A Physical, Interactive Emoji


Smallest Fabbable Programmer. Detailed Explanations Provided

Eyeglasses Organizer

Modular, Wall-mounted Organizer for Eyeglasses


Capacitive-touch Paper Interface for Storytelling and Guided Drawing

How To Make (almost) Anything

(Digital Fabrication Class at MIT)

Ultrasonic Tactile Display

(B.S. Thesis)

Acoustic Field Characterization Robot

(Part of B.S. Thesis)

Dual-Microphone Noise Reduction System

(Graphical Signal Processing)


Ali Shtarbanov is a Bulgarian-American interdisciplinary human-centered innovator, engineer, and system designer whose work lies at the intersection of electrical- software- and mechanical-engineering, robotics, and interaction design. Ali has been developing interactive systems that enable radically new user experiences, bridging the gap between the worlds of bits, atoms, and people; building platforms that empower researchers, engineers, and artists, innovate rapidly and express their creative potential in entirely new directions; and designs products that enable people to perform tasks more simply, more efficiently, and more enjoyably.

Ali's main aspiration in life is to accelerate the world's rate of innovation.
- by building affordable tools and platforms for research, rapid prototyping, and design that significantly reduce the technological barriers to entry into emerging and established research fields.
- by empowering people from any background, especially underprivileged, to become innovators by providing the facilities, training, human resources, and tools that would enable them to freely explore their creative potential.

Ali's work has been presented at a number of national and international conferences and venues, including the ACM Conferences on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2019 in Glasgow and CHI 2018 in Montreal. His work is also featured on exhibitions and displays at the MIT Media Lab. In addition, Ali has given a number of invited talks and keynotes including at the Workshop on Mid-Air Haptics for Control Interfaces in Montreal, at the 2018 Hacking Arts Conference where he was Interactive-Arts panelist, and at various international company headquarters in both US and Japan. Ali has also served as a judge for hackathons, and for MIT Technology Review's "35 Innovators Under 35, Europe".

Currently, Ali is a Graduate Researcher and a Ph.D. Student at MIT Media Lab in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds MS Degree in Human-Computer Interaction from MIT Media Lab, and two Bachelor degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Lehigh University, both Summa Cum Laude.

Contact Me

I am open for collaborations.