John Zelek
Waterloo | Engineering
Systems Design Engineering


    students (current & former)






    VIP lab


    Tactile Sight Inc.


About Me

  1. -Associate Professor, Systems Design Engineering

  2. -Associated Graduate Chair, Systems Design Engineering

Professor Zelek is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Systems Design Engineering department at the University of Waterloo.

Professor Zelek's main research areas include artificial perception including both 2D & 3D scene analysis (computer vision), auditory scene analysis, robot map making & localization, assistive devices, augmented & virtual reality, wearable computing, haptics as well as biomedical applications.  Sources of funding besides NSERC include  government funding that is matched from a variety of organizations including Honda, CNIB, Alzheimer Association, to name a few.

Professor Zelek has been the co-founder of two startup companies: Tactile Sight and Sweep3D.  Tactile Sight commercialized a haptic navigation device for people who are cognitively (e.g., dementia) or perceptually (e.g., blind) disabled.  Sweep3D commercialized technology that produces 3D models by sweeping a camera around objects or spaces for various applications including clothes fitting, orthotics as well as  exploring real estate premises remotely.  Professor Zelek also sits on the advisory boards for Intelligent Health Solutions Inc. and EyeCheck.

Professor Zelek's current research focus is on producing 3D maps from cameras and depth sensors.  These 3D maps can be used by robots (vehicles, UAVs) to navigate and localize or by people for various augmented applications.  Other current interests include IOT (Internet of Things) within the context of artificial perception, wearables and augmented spaces.