Xiaoli Zhang

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Xiaoli ZhangDr. Xiaoli Zhang’s research expertise lies in human-robot cooperation, knowledge-based robotics, intelligent control, teleoperation, and their applications in healthcare and industrial fields. Her research goal is to improve the flexibility, adaptability, and robustness of robots and autonomous systems so they can operate and adapt to deal with new problems and situations or deal with changes in tasks, environments, and human cooperators. Her work crosses different applications, including assistive robots, surgery, additive manufacturing, material discovery and underground construction, and draws from optimal control, planning, reasoning, learning and cognitive science. Dr. Zhang is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award.


Brown Hall W310A

Labs and Research Centers

Research Areas

  • Smart human-machine/robot interaction and cooperation, shared autonomy
  • Artificial-intelligence-powered automation and acceleration of engineering process optimization and science discovery, adaptive design of experiments
  • Efficient and robust machine learning for robots and autonomous systems


  • Liu, R., Zhang, X., 2018, “Generating Machine-Executable Plan from Human’s Natural Instructions,” Knowledge-based Systems, 140(C), pp. 15-26. (IF:4.529. rank in AI: top 11%).
  • Li, S., Zhang, X., and Webb, J., 2017, “3D-Gaze-based Robotic Grasping through Mimicking Human Visuomotor Function for People with Motion Impairments,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 64(12), pp. 2824-2835.
  • Li, S., and Zhang, X., 2017, “Implicit Intention Communication in Human-Robot Interaction through Visual Behaviour Studies,” IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, 47(4), pp. 437-448.
  • Liu, R., Zhang, X., 2016, ‘Context-Specific Grounding of Web Natural Descriptions to Human-Centered Situations’, Knowledge-based Systems, 111, pp. 1-16.
  • Lu, K., Jing, M., Zhang, X., and Liu, H., 2013, “Optimization of sequential subdivision of depth of cut in turning operations using dynamic programming,” International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 68(5-8), PP. 1733-1744.
  • Lu, K., Jing, M., Zhang, X., Dong, G., and Liu, H., 2013, “An Effective Optimization Algorithm for Multipass Turning of Flexible Workpieces,” Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, DOI 10.1007/s10845-013-0838-7.
  • Liu, S., Kappes, B., Stebner A., Zhang X., 2019, “Comprehensive Quality Assurance of Additive Manufacturing Ti-6Al-4V by Learning from Prior Studies”, TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition, San Antonio TX.
  • Liu, S., Ahmadi, B., Kappes, B., Stebner A., 2019, Zhang X., Sequential Experiments Design for Acceleration the Developments of NiTi-based Shape Memory Alloys”, TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition, San Antonio TX.

Recent Courses

  • MEGN 545 Advanced Robot Control
  • MEGN 441 Introduction to Robotics