Zhao Han


Assistant Professor

ENB 255 | 813-396-0979

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Zhao Han is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida, joining the faculty in August 2023.

His research lies broadly in human-robot interaction (HRI), robotics, AI, and augmented reality (AR). He focuses on designing, developing, and evaluating novel robotic systems and experiences, for embodied robots to be more capable and understandable while interacting and collaborating with humans.

To advance this work, Dr. Han takes an interdisciplinary and human-centered approach, developing broad expertise in explainable AI (robot explanations) for trust, projector-based and head-worn AR for communication, mobile manipulation for real-world evaluation, cognitive status-informed references, robot failures for robustness, and more.

Dr. Han received the best long-paper award at INLG 2022, the best late-breaking report third prize at HRI 2022, and a best late-breaking report nominee at HRI 2023. Previously, he had led teams to win multiple international and national robot competitions, including first place in the Panasonic Prototype 3D LiDAR Challenge and second place in the FetchIt Mobile Manipulation Challenge at ICRA 2019.

He believes service is beneficial to academic life and society, fostering friendship, collaboration, and communities. Dr. Zhao Han is a Publications Chair of HRI 2024, a Program Committee (PC) member of HRI 2023, and a General Co-Chair of the 2022 AI-HRI symposium. He has also co-organized multiple workshops and chaired paper sessions.

Recognized with a university-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award, Dr. Han takes action on DEI. He founded Mines Asian Community Alliance and co-organized the Inclusive HRI Workshop. He is also active in outreach to engage under-represented groups.

With a strong DEI component, Dr. Han’s Augmented Reality course was rated 4.72/5.0, confirming his real-world and student-focused approach. He has also mentored 27 students, including 13 underrepresented, 12 female, and four graduate students.

Before USF, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Han holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UMass Lowell, advised by AAAI Fellow Dr. Holly Yanco. Previously, he received his MS and BS degrees in Computer Science from the University of Manitoba in Canada.

Research Interests

Human-robot interaction (HRI), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), cognitive science, explainable AI, robot explanation, mobile manipulation, natural language generation and pragmatics, references, assistive robotics

Teaching Interests

Human-robot interaction, augmented reality (AR), robotics


PhD, Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA (2021)
MS, Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Canada (2016)
BS, Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Canada (2013)

Honors and Awards

  • Best Late Breaking Report (LBR) Nominee (Top 5%, 7/139), 2023 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2023
  • Mines Diversity, Inclusion & Access (DI&A) Award, Colorado School of Mines, 2023
    Best Long-Paper Award, 2022 ACL 15th International Natural Language Generation Conference (INLG), 2022
  • Best Late Breaking Report (LBR) Award, Third Prize (Top 3%, 3/103), 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2022
    Finalist, Analog Devices Real-Time Sensor Fusion Challenge, 2020
  • First Place, Panasonic Prototype 3D LiDAR Challenge, 2020
  • Second Place, FetchIt! Mobile Manipulation Challenge at 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019

Key Activities

  • Publications Chair, 2024 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
  • Program Committee, 2023 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
  • General Co-Chair, 2022 The Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Symposium
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence for Human-Robot Interaction, ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction (THRI), 2021 - 2024 (Expected)