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Autonomous Manipulation


Control, Intelligence


In this project, we are developing adaptive perceptual algorithms for automating tasks with robot manipulators.


  • Sensor-based planning/control

  • Intelligent robot motion

  • Long-horizon tasks

  • Medical and surgical robots


Wanli Liuchen

Luyin Hu

Shipeng Lyu

Rick Peng

Fangyuan Wang

Domi Gomez

Dr Jose G. Romero

Dr Zoë Ma

Dr Anqing Duan

Dr Muhammed Muddassir

Hongpeng Chen

Dr Omar Zahra

Samantha Lee

Dr Maria Victorova

Kyle Huo

Dr Jeffery Zhou


  • H.-Y. Lee, P. Zhou, A. Duan, W. Ma, C. Yang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Non-Prehensile Tool-Object Manipulation by Integrating LLM-Based Planning and Manoeuvrability-Driven Controls. (preprint) [pdf]

  • A. Duan, W. Liuchen, J. Wu, R. Camoriano, L. Rosasco, and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Learning Rhythmic Trajectories with Geometric Constraints for Laser-Based Skincare Procedures. IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) (cond. accepted), 2024 [pdf]

  • A. Duan, C. Yang, J. Zhao, S. Huo, P. Zhou, W. Ma, Y. Zheng and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Safe Learning by Constraint-Aware Policy Optimization for Robotic Ultrasound Imaging. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), (in press), 2024 [pdf]

  • S. Huo, D.T.W. Chik and D. Navarro-Alarcon. A Robotic Defect Inspection System for FreeForm Specular Surfaces. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 11364–11370, 2021 [pdf]

  • R. Peng, D. Navarro-Alarcon, V. Wu, and W. Yang. A Point Cloud Based Method for Automatic Groove Detection and Trajectory Planning of Robotic Arc Welding Tasks. IEEE Int. Conf. on Ubiquitous Robotics (UR), pp. 1–8, 2020. [pdf]

  • M. Victorova, D. Navarro-Alarcon and Y.-P. Zheng. 3D Ultrasound Imaging of Scoliosis with Force Sensitive Robotic Scanning. Int. Conf. Robotic Computing (IRC), pp. 262–265, 2019. [pdf]

  • O. Zahra and D. Navarro-Alarcon. A Self-Organizing Network with Varying Density Structure for Characterizing Sensorimotor Transformations in Robotic Systems. Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems Conference (TAROS), pp. 1–12, 2019. [pdf]

  • O. Zahra, D. Navarro-Alarcon and S. Tolu. Vision-Based Control for Robots by a Fully Spiking Neural System Relying on Cerebellar Predictive Learning, IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 4423–4429, 2021. [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, P. Zheng, J. Qi, C. Li, H.-Y. Lee, A. Duan, L. Lu, Z. Li, L. Hu, D. Navarro-Alarcon. Reactive Human-Robot Collaborative Manipulation of Deformable Linear Objects Using a New Topological Latent Control Model. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (RCIM), vol. 88, pp. 102727, 2024 [pdf]

  • A. Duan, S. Huo, H.-Y. Lee, P. Zhou, J. G. Romero, C. Yang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Robust Grasping by Bimanual Robots with Stable Parametrization-Based Contact Servoing. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (T-MECH), (in press), 2024 [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, J. Qi, A. Duan, S. Huo, Z. Wu and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Imitating Tool-based Garment Folding from a Single Visual Observation Using Hand-Object Graph Dynamics. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (T-II) (in press), 2024 [pdf]

  • F. Wang, A, Duan, P. Zhou, S. Huo, G. Guo, C. Yang, and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Implicit Subgoal Planning with Variational Autoencoders for Long-Horizon Sparse Reward Robotic Tasks. (preprint) [pdf]

  • H. Chen, S. Huo, M. Muddassir, H.-Y. Lee, A. Duan, P. Zheng, H. Pan, D. Navarro-Alarcon. PSO-Based Optimal Coverage Path Planning for Surface Defect Inspection of 3C Components with a Robotic Line Scanner. (preprint) [pdf]

  • S. Huo, A. Duan, L. Han, L. Hu, H. Wang and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Efficient Robot Skill Learning with Imitation from a Single Video for Contact-Rich Fabric Manipulation. (preprint) [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, P. Zheng, J. Qi, C. Li, A. Duan, M. Xu, V. Wu, and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Neural Reactive Path Planning with Riemannian Motion Policies for Robotic Silicone Sealing. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, vol. 81, pp. 102518, 2023 [pdf]

  • M. Muddassir, G. Limbert, B. Zhang, A. Duan, J.-J. Tan and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Model Predictive Thermal Dose Control of a Robotic Laser System to Automate Skin Photorejuvenation, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (T-MECH), vol. 27., no. 2, pp. 666 - 677, 2022. [pdf]

  • M. Victorova, H. Lau, T. Lee, D. Navarro-Alarcon and Y. Zheng. Reliability of Robotic Ultrasound Scanning for Scoliosis Assessment in Comparison with Manual Scanning. International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery (IJMRCAS), e2468, 2022. [pdf]

  • A. Duan, M. Victorova, J. Zhao, Y. Sun, Y. Zheng and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Ultrasound-Guided Assistive Robots for Scoliosis Assessment with Optimization-based Control and Variable Impedance, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 8106-8113, 2022. [pdf]

  • L. Hu, D. Navarro-Alarcon, A. Cherubini, M. Li and L. Li. On Radiation-Based Thermal Servoing: New Models, Controls and Experiments, IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO), vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 1945-1958, 2022. [pdf]

  • O. Zahra, S. Tolu, P. Zhou, A. Duan and D. Navarro-Alarcon. A Bio-Inspired Mechanism for Learning Robot Motion From Mirrored Human Demonstrations, Front. Neurorobotics, vol. 16, 2022. [pdf]

  • M. Muddassir, D. Gomez Dominguez, S. Chen, L. Hu and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Robotics Meets Cosmetic Dermatology: Development of a Novel Vision-Guided System for Skin Photo-Rejuvenation, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (T-MECH), vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 666-677, 2022. [pdf]

  • S. Huo, B. Zhang, M. Muddassir, D.T.W. Chik and D. Navarro-Alarcon. A Sensor-Based Robotic Line Scan System with Adaptive ROI for Inspection of Defects over Convex Free-form Specular Surfaces, IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 2782-2792, 2022. [pdf]

  • O. Zahra, S. Tolu and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Differential Mapping Spiking Neural Network for Sensor-Based Robot Control, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 036008 2021. [pdf]

  • A. Cherubini and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Sensor-Based Control for Collaborative Robots: Fundamentals, Challenges and Opportunities, Frontiers in Neurorobotics, vol. 14, pp. 113, 2021. [pdf]

  • P. Zhou, R. Peng, M. Xu, V. Wu and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Path Planning with Automatic Seam Extraction over Point Cloud Models for Robotic Arc Welding, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 5002–5009, 2021. [pdf]

  • M. Muddassir, S. Chan, D. Gomez and D. Navarro-Alarcon. Can, Can a Robot Outperform a Human Operator in Skin Photorejuvenation? Cosmet Dermatol. 2021; 00: 1– 2. [pdf]

  • O. Zahra, D. Navarro-Alarcon, and S. Tolu. A Neurorobotic Embodiment for Exploring the Dynamical Interactions of a Spiking Cerebellar Model and a Robot Arm During Vision-based Manipulation Tasks. International Journal of Neural Systems (IJNS), vol. 32, no. 08, pp. 2150028, 2021. [pdf]

  • M. Tirindelli, M. Victorova, J. Esteban, S. T. Kim, D. Navarro-Alarcon, Y. P. Zheng and N. Navab. Force-Ultrasound Fusion: Bringing Spine Robotic-US to the Next "Level", IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 5661–5668, 2020. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon, S. Saini, T. Zhang, H. Chung, K. W. Ng, M. K. Chow, Y.-H. Liu Developing a Compact Robotic Needle Driver for MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy in Tight Environments. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 2, no. 3, 1648–1655, 2017. [pdf]

  • H.M. Yip, P. Li, D. Navarro-Alarcon, and Y.-H. Liu. Towards Developing a Robot Assistant for Uterus Positioning During Hysterectomy: System Design and Experiments. Journal of Robotics and Biomimetics, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1–11, 2015. [pdf]

  • J.Y.K. Chan, I. Leung, D. Navarro-Alarcon, W. Lin, P. Li, D.L.Y. Lee, Y.-H. Liu, and M.C.F. Tong. Foot-Controlled Robotic-Enabled Endoscope Holder for Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: A Cadaveric Feasibility Study. The Laryngoscope, issn 1531–4995, 2015. [pdf]

  • D. Navarro-Alarcon, Y.-H. Liu, J.G. Romero, and P. Li. Energy Shaping Methods for Asymptotic Force Regulation of Compliant Mechanical Systems. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology (T-CST), vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 2376–2383, 2014. [pdf]

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