The HCRobotics Lab was founded in August of 2014 by Prof. Hao Zhang and is engaged in research in long-term collaborative autonomy, multisensory perception, and robot adaptation for effective collaborative robot-robot, human-robot/swarm teaming in human-centered robotics applications, especially in underground and field environments. Far beyond the boundary of traditional industrial robotics that often manipulates objects in dirty or dull tasks, human-centered robotics is a vision to address how robots and swarms can collaborate with us, assist people, and take over tasks where our current society has shortcomings. Human-centered robotics may serve to increase the efficiency, productivity and safety to accomplish a task, and has the potential to significantly improve the state of national health, education, safety and security, and the economy.

Our work is computational, in that we develop new algorithms, approaches, and software architectures that have provable properties to enable long-term collaborative autonomy. We focus on both basic and applied research that leads to fundamental new concepts and systems that can be demonstrated on real robots in human-centered applications, including underground reconnaissance, robot-assisted inspection, search and rescue, autonomous driving, Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT), among others where robots and swarms could be a critical component or a promising solution.

We are looking for highly self-motivated students who are interested in human-centered robotics. If you are interested in my research and would like to work with me, please send me an email with your CV, transcripts and publications. For Ph.D. applicants, please be aware that I only accept students who apply or are currently enrolled in the Computer Science program at Mines.