Allen Z. Ren     任至意


Ph.D. Student
Intelligent Robot Motion (IRoM) Lab
Princeton University

Advisor: Prof. Anirudha Majumdar


My research interests lie in improving generalization performance and safety of robotic systems around humans and allowing
their fast adaptation in new, potentially out-of-distribution environments and tasks. Currently I am particularly interested in
(1) identifying the simulation setup and dataset for optimal task performance in Sim-to-Real transfer and
(2) quantifying uncertainty and providing generalization guarantees for end-to-end neural network policy and language model planner.


  • Research Intern, Dexterous Manipulation Team, Toyota Research Institute (TRI), Summer 2022

  • Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2019-Present

  • M.S.E. Robotics, Johns Hopkins University, 2018-2019

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Mathematics, Johns Hopkins University, 2015-2019

Ph.D. Research

  • Sim-to-Lab-to-Real: Safe Reinforcement Learning with Shielding and Generalization Guarantees
    Kai-Chieh Hsu*, Allen Z. Ren*, Duy Phuong Nguyen, Jaime F. Fisac**, and Anirudha Majumdar**
    *Equal contribution in alphabetical order; ** Equal advising
    Artificial Intelligence Journal, October 2022
    Progress and Challenges in Building Trustworthy Embodied AI Workshop, NeurIPS 2022
    Oral, Generalizable Policy Learning in the Physical World Workshop, ICLR 2022
    Arxiv | Journal | Website | Bibtex

  • FlowDrone: Wind Estimation and Gust Rejection on UAVs Using Fast-Response Hot-Wire Flow Sensors
    Nathaniel Simon, Allen Z. Ren, Alexander Pique, David Snyder, Daphne Barretto, Marcus Hultmark, and Anirudha Majumdar
    Under Review at International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2023
    Arxiv | Video | Bibtex

  • Failure Prediction with Statistical Guarantees for Vision-Based Robot Control
    Alec Farid*, David Snyder*, Allen Z. Ren, and Anirudha Majumdar (*Equal contribution)
    Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), 2022
    Arxiv | Video | Bibtex

  • Distributionally Robust Policy Learning via Adversarial Environment Generation
    Allen Z. Ren, Anirudha Majumdar
    IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2022
    Arxiv | IEEE | Code | Video | Bibtex

  • Stronger Generalization Guarantees for Robot Learning by Combining Generative Models and Real-World Data
    Abhinav Agarwal, Sushant Veer, Allen Z. Ren, and Anirudha Majumdar
    International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2022
    Arxiv | Bibtex


Undergraduate Research

  • Toward Robust Stair Climbing of the Quadruped using Proprioceptive Sensing
    Zhiyi Ren and Aaron Johnson
    CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholars Working Papers Journal, 2018

  • Legged Robots Change Locomotor Modes To Traverse 3-D Obstacles With Varied Stiffness
    Zhiyi Ren, Ratan Othayoth, and Chen Li
    American Physical Society, Robophysics, 2018
    Abstract | Bibtex


About Me

I am from Jiangsu, China. As much as I want to use my first name in Chinese, Zhiyi, I find it very difficult to pronounce for non-native speakers.

I enjoy watching and playing soccer, hitting the gym, and traveling/backpacking. I am also an aviation enthusiast and hold a private pilot license (my story in Chinese).

Feel free to reach out on email or wechat (ID: allenzren) for research collaboration, job opportunities, startup ideas, or a Cessna ride down the Hudson :)