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About Dr. Dandan Zhang

Dr. Dandan Zhang is a Lecturer (US equivalent: Assistant Professor) in Medical Robotics in the Department of Bioengineering and a Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the I-X initiative at Imperial College London. She is the Director of the Multi-Scale Embodied Intelligence Laboratory. She has been an honorary researcher in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London.

 

Before joining Imperial, she was a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol, affiliated with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. She earned her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Computing and her MRes degree from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London. She has cross-disciplinary interests in robotics, biomedicine, and AI. Her current focus is on dexterous manipulation integrated with multi-modality sensor fusion and intelligence, and micro-robotics for biomedical engineering. She aims to enhance the level of autonomy for multi-scale robotic systems. The ultimate goal is to develop next-generation robots empowered by artificial general intelligence with super-human capabilities. She envisions that intelligent robots will reshape our world by providing tangible benefits in our daily life and contributing to healthcare systems.

official website: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/d.zhang17

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Work Experience
(Current)

Department of Bioengineering,
Imperial College London 
& I-X Initiative

My major role:

  • Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning                                                                 

  • PI for Multi-Scale Embodied Intelligence

  • Project Supervisor for MSc Biorobotics/Robotics

  • Lecturer for Biosystems and Biorobotics (MSc programe module)

  • Lecturer for Group Project of Biorobotics (MSc programe module)

  • Deputy Programme Director for the MSc Biorobotics      

  • Personal Tutor for MSc

About UoB

  • A top 10 UK university and 62nd in the world (QS Rankings 2022) 

  • A top 5 UK university for research (THE analysis of REF 2014) 

  • One of the 10 most targeted universities by top UK employers (High Fliers 2021)

  • Ninth best European university for teaching (THE 2019) 

Work Experience
(Past)

Department of Engineering Mathematics,
University of Bristol 
& Bristol Robotics Lab

My major role:

  • Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Robotics                                                                 

  • PI for Intelligent Robotics Across Scales

  • Project Supervisor for MSc Biorobotics/Robotics

  • Lecturer for Biosystems and Biorobotics (MSc programe module)

  • Lecturer for Group Project of Biorobotics (MSc programe module)

  • Deputy Programme Director for the MSc Biorobotics      

  • Personal Tutor for MSc

About UoB

  • A top 10 UK university and 62nd in the world (QS Rankings 2022) 

  • A top 5 UK university for research (THE analysis of REF 2014) 

  • One of the 10 most targeted universities by top UK employers (High Fliers 2021)

  • Ninth best European university for teaching (THE 2019) 

Education

Imperial College London

PhD of Robotics,

Hamlyn Center for Robotic Surgery,

Department of Computing,

Awardee for Amazon PhD Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Robotics

MRes (Master of Research),

Hamlyn Center for Robotic Surgery,

Department of Surgery and Cancer,

Distinction Degree,

Faculty of Medicine Dean's Prize

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Awards
Honors

  • My paper has been highlighted by “This month in pictures” feature on Advanced Science News

  • Awardee for Amazon PhD Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Robotics

  • Awardee for Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Prize for MRes study

  • Awardee for Beijing City Outstanding Graduate Student

  • Awardee for Excellent Graduate Thesis Winner Award    

Teaching Activities

2021-present

  • Deputy Programme Director for the MSc Biorobotics at University of Bristol

  • Project Supervisor for MSc Biorobotics/Robotics at University of Bristol

  • Lecturer for Biosystems and Biorobotics (MSc programme module) at University of Bristol

  • Lecturer for Group Project of Biorobotics (MSc programme module) at University of Bristol

2018-2020

  • Teaching Assistant for Medical Robotics at Imperial College London

  • Guest Lecturer for Hamlyn Winter School on Surgical Imaging and Vision at Imperial College London

Grants

  • I have been working for Program Grant EP/P012779/1 (Microrobotics for Surgery) from 2018-2022, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
    My major contributions are related to two research topics, i.e. i) “From Teleoperation to Human-Robot Shared Control for Surgical Robotics”, ii) “Perception and Manipulation for Optical Microrobot”. 

     

  • Pump Priming Research Funding for 'Imitation Learning Based on Vision and Tactile Information Fusion'

  • SCEEM Post-Pandemic Research Restart Events Scheme Funding for 'Intelligent Microrobotics for Biomedicine'

  • Royal Society Funding for 'Adaptive Human-Robot Shared Control for Micromanipulation'

  • Get funding support by Hamlyn Center to organize a workshop at the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics 2022https://hamlynsymposium.org/events/towards-versatile-and-seamless-surgical-technologies/ 

Review
Service

  • IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

  • IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

  • IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics (T-MRB)

  • IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics (ARM)

  • The European Robotics Research Infrastructure Network (TerriNet)

  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Network and Learning System (TNNLS)

  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics (TNNLS)

  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)

  • IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)

  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS)

  • Frontiers in Neurorobotics

  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics (TRO)

  • Laser & Photonics Reviews (LPR)

Outreach

Admin
Service

  • Interviewer for Farscope CDT - PhD in Robotics and Autonomous Systems
    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/2022/doctoral/phd-epsrc-centre-doctoral-training/

  • Main reviewer for 3rd Annual PhD Review

  • Research presentation interviewer chair for  Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Robotics PW1, Grade I

  • Selection panel reviewer for (Senior) Research Associate PW2, Grade I/J

  • Selection panel reviewer for Teaching Associate in Data Science PW3, Grade I

  • Expert evaluator for 2022 Doctoral INPhINIT Fellowships (Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering)
    https://fundacionlacaixa.org/en/inphinit-doctoral-fellowships-call

Previous Projects

2018-2021

​Robot Learning

  • Developed a Sim-to-Real Transfer Framework for Adaptive Trajectory Generation

  • Developed Hierarchical Imitation Learning Algorithm for Service Robot

  • Explored Transfer Learning, Domain Adaptation for Robotic Manipulation

Micro Manipulation

  • Constructed a Robot-Aided Optical Tweezer Platform for Micromanipulation

  • Developed Two Control Strategies for Optical Manipulation of Microrobot Via Planar OT

  • Conducted Force Characterization for Optical Manipulation

  • Developed Multi-Task Learning and Domain Adaptation Algorithms for Microrobot 6D Pose Estimation

  • Explored Few-Shot Learning for Microrobot 3D Pose Estimation

Robot-Assisted Microsurgery

  • Built a Master Controller for Robot-Assisted Microsurgery Training

  • Developed a Robot Operating System (ROS) Interface Based Microsurgical Robot Research Kit (MRRK) for Robot-Assisted Microsurgery Research

  • Investigated Microsurgical Tool Tracking Algorithm

  • Developed Hybrid Mapping Strategy and Haptic Guidance for Robot Control

Human-Robot Shared Control for Laparoscopic Surgery

  • Proposed a Self-Adaptive Motion Scaling Framework to improve the surgical teleoperation efficiency

  • Explored Surgical Gesture Segmentation and Recognition based on machine learning (HMM, GMM, K-means) and deep learning Methods (LSTM, CNN)

  • Proposed the Concept of Implicit Human-Robot Shared Control

  • Conducted Real-time Surgical Skill Analysis and Cross-Domain Transfer Learning for Skill Assessment

  • Investigated a Framework of Supervised Semi-Autonomous Control

  • Employed Bayesian Optimization for User Specific Parameter Optimization

Master Manipulator (Hamlyn CRM) for Robotic Surgery

  • Designed and Verified a Compact Master Manipulator: Hamlyn CRM

  • Explored Mechanical Design, Master-Slave Mapping, Visual Alignment, Multi-Sensor Fusion for Hamlyn CRM

  • Built up an Open Source Workspace Analysis Package

  • Proposed Master Manipulator Design Theory

  • Finished MRes thesis with the title of “Design and Validation of a Compact Master Manipulator for Robotic Surgery Control and Training”

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