My vision is to enable beneficial interaction between humans and AI-enabled systems (e.g., robots, virtual agents, and decision-support aids).
Towards this vision, I lead a research group at Rice CS in the area of Human-Centered AI (broadly defined to include human-robot interaction, interactive machine learning, and human-AI collaboration). Ongoing research in the group includes development of foundational algorithms and interactive systems to model human behavior, train human-AI teams, and improve transparency of AI-enabled systems.
My research is informed by the opportunities and challenges of introducing AI-enabled systems in the real world. In collaboration with industry partners, I co-designed and deployed the first mobile robot capable of working alongside humans on the conveyor belts of automotive factories. During my academic training, I have worked on a nano-satellite and autonomous aerial vehicles. In my ongoing research, I am actively exploring opportunities of robotics and human-AI collaboration in healthcare and disaster response.
- Decision-Making for Bidirectional Communication in Sequential Human-Robot Collaborative Tasks, in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2020. link
- Learning Models of Sequential Decision-Making with Partial Specification of Agent Behavior, in AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 2019. link
- Human-Aware Robotic Assistant for Collaborative Assembly, in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2018. link
For a complete list of my publications, please visit my Google Scholar profile.
- (Mar 2021) Featured as the Ken Kennedy Institute’s Member of the Month. Read more here.
- (Feb 2021) Read about joint work on self-supervised reward learning for contact-rich manipulation tasks to be presented at ICRA 2021. Congratulations Zheng!
- (Jan 2021) Read about ongoing research effort on developing an AI Coach for surgical teams. Similar to a human coach, our AI-based coaching system aims to predict and prevent errors of human teams.
- (Oct 2020) Members of my research group will be giving poster talks at the Ken Kennedy Institute Data Science Conference. Catch Sangwon Seo’s work on modeling human teams and Pam Qian’s work on explaining robot behavior at 2pm, October 27.
- (Sep 2020) I will be serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
- (Jul 2020) Excited to start as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Rice University. At Rice, I will be leading a research group in the area of Human-Centered AI and Robotics.
- (Mar 2020) Catch my (virtual) talk on human-robot communication at the ACM/IEEE international conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2020).
- (Mar 2020) Looking forward to visiting Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, where I will be giving a talk on recent work on human-in-the-loop machine learning and human-robot collaboration.
- (Jan 2020) I will be soon joining X, the Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X) as a Visiting Researcher.
- (Dec 2019) Happy to share my doctoral thesis on effective information sharing for human-robot collaboration.