RBE/CS 526 Human-Robot Interaction


Zhi Jane Li

Email: zli11 [at] wpi.edu

Time & Location: Mon & Wed, 1:00-2:20 pm

Office Hour: Wednesday 3:00-4:00 pm

Link to Synchronous Lecture: https://wpi.zoom.us/j/5598080892 


This course will introduce the fundamental concepts and theories of human-robot interaction, as well as research methodologies. The lecture topics include: (1) Framework of human-robot teaming; (2) Level of autonomy; (3) human-robot interfaces for direct and supervisory control; (4) methods and metrics for evaluating interface usability; and (5) user study design. It will refer to the recent research papers to exemplify the design of human-robot interfaces and robot autonomy for cognitive and physical assistance, as well as the interfaces and approaches for robot learning from human demonstrations. Students in this course will work on (1) Individual Paper Reading and Team Literature review; (2) Algorithm implementation; and (3) Courses Projects of design and/or evaluation human-robot interfaces

Course syllabus and Schedule:


Programming in Python.

Recommended Skills:

ROS, Gazebo.

Reference books:

Lecture Topics and Reading List:

Papers for Algorithm Implementation & Literature Review:


  • Individual paper reading 15%
    • Instructor will assign papers for reading weakly;
    • Students will choose one paper from the weekly reading assignment, and submit 8-10 slides (with notes) to present your understanding.
  • Literature review 15%
    • Instructor will provide the list of topics and papers;
      Each project team will (1) review 10-12 papers on a research topic, (2) submit slides with notes as the literature review report and (3) deliver team presentations.
  • Algorithm Implementation 20%
    • Instructor will provide a list of papers for algorithm implementation;
    • Students will (1) choose one paper in the list, (2) implement the algorithm in Python, and (3) present a demonstration in simulation, as part of the final project report and presentation.
  • Project 50%
    • Project proposal report 10%
    • Project proposal presentation 10%
    • Project final report 15%
    • Project final presentation 15%
  • Flexibility
    • Coursework Replacement
      • Students who prefer to work more on coding robots may replace individual paper reading (15%) with equivalent efforts of additional algorithm implementation work.
    • Extra Credits for In-Class Participation
      • Students are highly encouraged to attend the synchronous lecture;
      • Extra credits will be assigned based on the lecture attendance and participation.