Mengchao Zhang 张孟超

I’m currently a Ph.D. student at the Intelligent Motion Lab advised by Prof. Kris Hauser at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I’m interested in contact-rich manipulation, and my current research focuses on investigating novel numerically-stable and computationally efficient models for pervasive, intimate contact between multiple objects through interactions such as stacking, sliding, and rolling. Except for using the aforementioned model to do planning on objects’ real geometry, I’m also interested in combining model-based and reinforcement learning-based approaches to synthesis robust feedback control policies for the execution of the planned contact-rich trajectories.


Oct 2023: Our paper Plan-Guided Reinforcement Learning for Whole-Body Manipulation was selected for the Best Paper Award in the Workshop on Leveraging Models for Contact-Rich Manipulation at IROS 2023!

May 2023: I will do internship at the Toyota Research Institute (Cambridge) during 2023 May - Aug!

April 2023: Our paper Simultaneous Trajectory Optimization and Contact Selection for Multi-Modal Manipulation Planning was accepted to RSS 2023!

Aug 2022: I will do internship at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) during 2022 Sep - Jan 2023!