About me

My name is Yifan Zhu, and I am currently a 5th-year Ph.D. student at the Computer Science department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am a member of the Intelligent Motion Lab and work with Prof. Kris Hauser on robotics. There are two fronts of my research. On one hand, I work on data-driven modeling of deformable objects and planning robot motions in deformable environments. On the other front, I have been developing a nursing assistant robot called TRINA with my colleagues, and enabling it with both tele-operation and autonomous capabilities. You are welcome to check out my research page on the lab website.


Nov 2022: Our robot TRINA has been participating in the AVATAR XPRIZE competition as Team AVATRINA, and we just scored 4-th in the finals, one of the only 4 teams that completed all 10 tasks. media

Selected Publications

  • Y. Zhu, A. Smith, and K. Hauser. Automated Heart and Lung Auscultation in Robotic Physical Examinations. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2022. pdf link

  • Y. Zhu, K. Lu, and K. Hauser. Semi-Empirical Simulation of Learned Force Response Models for Heterogeneous Elastic Objects. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), June 2020pdf Summary video ICRA 10-minute talk video

  • Y. Zhu, Z. Pan, and K. Hauser. Contact-Implicit Trajectory Optimization with Learned Deformable Contacts Using Bilevel Optimization. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2021. pdf Supplemental video

  • Y. Zhu, L. Abdulmajeid, and K. Hauser. Data-driven Approach for Fast Simulation of Robot Locomotion on Granular Media. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2019. pdf Summary video ICRA 10-minute talk video

Robots that I work with

drawing UR5drawing TRINAdrawing Robosimiandrawing Franka Panda