Dr. Zhao Han’s research interests lie in human-robot interaction (HRI), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR). His goal is to develop capable and understandable robotic systems and interactions with humans.
For advancing this work, Dr. Han and his collaborators design, implement and experiment with proactive interactions, causal and preferred robot explanations, explanation generation using interpretable behavior trees, mobile manipulation (perception, manipulation, and navigation) algorithms, multimodal communications, headset-free projection mapping augmented reality (AR), behavioral and cognitive insights from psychology, and more.
These novel interactions and prototypes are evaluated in different domains and contexts with rigorous quantitative and qualitative human-subjects studies, including integrated mobile manipulation, human-robot handovers, teleoperation (mental workload), assistive robotics, as well as during robot failures and with ethical considerations.
- Robot explanation, explainable AI (XAI) (AI-HRI ’19, ICRA ’20 WS, THRI ’21a, THRI ’21b, Ph.D. Dissertation, AAAI-SSS ’22, WYSD ’22, THRI ’22b)
- Mobile manipulation, research testbed (ICRA ’19 FetchIt Competition, ICRA ’20)
- Augmented reality (AR)
- Natural language generation — referring form selection (HRI ’22 LBR, INLG ’22, IROS ’22)
- Robot failures (ICRA ’20 WS, THRI ’21a, THRI ’21b, WYSD ’22)
- Assistive robotics
- Robot competition (ICRA ’19 FetchIt Competition, Panasonic Challenge ’20, ICRA ’20)
- Robot task representation — behavior trees (BTs) (THRI ’21a, WYSD ’22)
- Robot ethics (HRI ’22a, HRI ’23b)
- Mental workload — teleoperation (ICRA ’21)
- Cognitive architecture (IROS ’20)
- Open science — code (AI-HRI ’20, HRI ’22b)
- Data visualization, visual analytics (WI ’16)
- Data mining — frequent itemset mining (KES ’15, BigDAS ’15, M.S. Thesis)
Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
Developing understandable robot interactions with humans
Developing capable robotic systems in human environments
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Developing human-centered AI algorithms to facilitate HRI
Augmented Reality (AR)
Developing salable projected AR without headsets
Dr. Han has a deep software development background, especially ROS, and is skilled at project management.
During his Ph.D., he has proposed, budgeted, and led three teams of students, researchers, and engineers to win
- first place in the Panasonic Prototype 3D LiDAR Challenge (detect and grasp small objects from sparse 3D LiDAR data),
- second place in the FetchIt Mobile Manipulation Challenge at ICRA (autonomous navigation and manipulation to build assemblies from irregular objects),
- and selected as a finalist to secure seed funding in the ADI Real-Time Sensor Fusion Challenge (human-aware projection mapping to externalize robot intent).
In this challenge, we proposed an augmented reality (AR) project titled “Human-Aware Projection Mapping for Robot Intention”. Leading a team of three, we were awarded $2,500 seed funding and this project led to two scientific publications. Competition Proposal Robots are now increasingly deployed in areas ranging from factories and warehouses to private homes. Externalizing a……
Competition Proposal In a factory or warehouse, if a mechanical part (e.g., a small gear) is accidentally left on the floor — or a robot dropped an item while operating — it may end up in the path of another robot (e.g., autonomous mobile robot, or AMR, delivering items). The robot may not be able……
In the competition, a Fetch mobile manipulator robot autonomously navigates to stations in a narrow work cell to pick parts in irregular shape (screws, gears, gearbox parts) and machine large gears by inserting into a narrow chuck, transport and place them into a human-friendly caddy, and drop off the caddy on a specified region at……
Organizers and sponsors
Serving communities is a great opportunity to network, get involved, develop new skills, and foster potential collaborations. This ultimately makes me a better researcher and lead to more and better research.
I co-organize AI-HRI, participate in standards about HRI, serve for editorial, and be a constructive reviewer, reviewing a variety of journal, conference and workshop-like publications.