Welcome to Human-inspired Robotics (HiRo) Lab!


We develop Human-Robot Interface and Shared Autonomy to enable the efficient, intuitive and effortless control of mobile humanoid robots for nursing and living assistance. Our research focuses on:

  • Shared Autonomous Nursing Robots
  • Perception-Action Coordination in Robot Teleoperation
  • Adaptive Human-Robot Interfaces
  • Augmented Reality for Human-Robot Communication

We are located on 200A at Unity Hall. Come to meet our nursing robot!

Lab Director

Prospective Students

  • We have several projects open to perspective PhD students and MS students who are looking for thesis topics. Please refer to the current projects in our lab and recent publications.
  • We have NSF NRT Fellowships for Perspective PhD students who are US citizens. Check the FORW-RD NRT Program for detailed information.


  • Analytical Framework for AI/AA — “Testing & Evaluation for Soldier-Device Teaming Compatibility, Vulnerability, and Durability in Emergent Situations”; Role: co-PI,  Team Lead on “Evaluation and Evolution of Human-AI and Human-Robot Interfaces”; WPI collaborator: Bogdan Vernescu (PI), Jing Xiao, Soussan Dja-masbi; Funded by US Army, DEVCOM Analysis Center; Awarded funds: $5,283,619.00 (for 5 years); $999,997.00 (Year 1); Fund for Team: $332,986 (Year 1); 2022/01/15-2027/01/14 (Expected); 2022/01-2023/01 (Current Contract).
  • SEMI-FlexTech #FT19-21-215 — “Soft Robotic Haptic Gloves as Intuitive Human-Machine Interfaces to Augment Human Performance”; Role: Co-PI; WPI Collaborator: Pratap Rao (ME, PI), Cagdas Onal (RBE); UMass-Lowell Collaborators: Joey Mead, Chris Hansen, Jay Park, Jinde Zhang; Funded by SEMI-FlexTech and Massachusetts Manufacturing Investment Initiative (M2I2); Awarded funds: $1,764,938; 2021/11/01-2023/04/40.
  • NSF Award#2024802 — “Collaborative Research: NRI: INT: Transparent and Intuitive Teleoperation Interfaces for the Future Nursing Robots and Workers“, PI: Jane Li, Co-PI: Cagdas Onal, Jie Fu, Jeanine Skorinko and Yunus Telliel; $731,329, 2020/09/01-2023/08/31, in collaboration with the Nursing Department of Worcester State University,. The three year project is jointly funded by NSF and NIOSH/CDC. (see the CDC media release).
  • NSF Award#1922761 — “NRT-FW-HTF: Robotic Interfaces and Assistants for the Future of Work”, PI: Cagdas Onal, Co-PI: Jing Xiao, Zhi Li, Pratap Rao and Yunus Telliel; $2,999,998.00, 2019/09/01-2024/08/31.



  • 2022-06-30  Congratulations to one accepted by IROS 2022
    • Achyuthan Unni Krishnan, Tsung-Chi Lin, and Zhi Li. “Design Interface Mapping for Efficient Free-form Tele-manipulation.” In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2022). 2022.
  • 2022-01-31 Congratulations to one accepted by ICRA 2022
  • 2021-03-01 Congratulations to two papers accepted by ICRA 2021
    • Tsung-Chi Lin, Achyuthan Unni Krishnan and Zhi Li, “How People Use Active Telepresence Cameras in Tele-manipulation”, accepted by IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021. [paper abstract]
    • Alexandra Valiton, Hannah Baez, Naomi Harrison, Justine Roy, and Zhi Li, “Active Telepresence Assistance for Supervisory Control: A User Study with a Multi-Camera Tele-Nursing Robot”, accepted by IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021. [paper abstract]