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There, there.

Hi there! I am Zhou Xian, a PhD student in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Katerina Fragkiadaki. I am broadly interested in robotics, computer vision and world model learning. Prior to CMU, I completed my Bachelor's degree at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, working with Pham Quang Cuong and I-Ming Chen. I have also spent wonderful summers as a research intern at Meta AI with Akshara Rai, and at MIT-IBM AI Lab with Chuang Gan.

My current research focuses on building unified neural policies and simulation infrastructures for scalable robot learning.

I am also an independent landscape photographer, with a special interest in aerial and celestial photography. I was affiliated with the Visual China Group (视觉中国) and was one of the top 10 contributors on My images have received tens of millions of views and near a million downloads across platforms like Unsplash, Notion, Trello, Medium, etc. Here are some of my personal favorite photos of all time. Check out my Unsplash page if you are curious to see more.

I get emotional watching the Milky Way dance, every single time.

[Contact] If you are interested in chatting about robots, AI, research, photography, dreams, stand-up comedy, Honor of Kings, wine tasting, kittens🐱, the best superpower, the illusion of free will and consciousness, or anything else that makes absolutely no sense apart from being fun or romantic :P, feel free to shoot me an email at /



(* indicates equal contribution)


Energy-based Models are Zero-Shot Planners for Compositional Scene Rearrangement

Nikolaos Gkanatsios*, Ayush Jain*, Zhou Xian, Yunchu Zhang, Christopher Atkeson, Katerina Fragkiadaki

​RSS 2023

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]


RoboNinja: Learning an Adaptive Cutting Policy for Multi-Material Objects

Zhenjia Xu, Zhou Xian, Xingyu Lin, Cheng Chi, Zhiao Huang, Chuang Gan, Shuran Song

RSS 2023

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]


FluidLab: A Differentiable Environment for Benchmarking Complex Fluid Manipulation

Zhou Xian, Bo Zhu, Zhenjia Xu, Hsiao-Yu Tung, Antonio Torralba, Katerina Fragkiadaki, Chuang Gan

ICLR 2023 (Spotlight)

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]

SoftZoo: A Soft Robot Co-design Benchmark For Locomotion In Diverse Environments

Tsun-Hsuan Wang, Pingchuan Ma, Andrew Spielberg, Zhou Xian, Hao Zhang, Joshua Tenenbaum, Daniela Rus, Chuang Gan

ICLR 2023

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]


3D-OES: Viewpoint-Invariant Object-Factorized Environment Simulators

Hsiao-Yu Fish Tung*, Zhou Xian*, Mihir Prabhudesai, Shamit Lal, Katerina Fragkiadaki

CoRL 2020

[Project Page] | [Paper]


HyperDynamics: Meta-Learning Object and Agent Dynamics with Hypernetworks

Zhou Xian, Shamit Lal, Hsiao-Yu Tung, Emmanouil Antonios Platanios, Katerina Fragkiadaki

ICLR 2021

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]


Learning from Unlabelled Videos Using Contrastive Predictive Neural 3D Mapping

Adam W. Harley, Fangyu Li, Shrinidhi K. Lakshmikanth, Zhou Xian, Hsiao-Yu Fish Tung, Katerina Fragkiadaki

ICLR 2020

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]


Graph-Structed Visual Imitation

Zhou Xian*, Maximilian Sieb*, Audrey Huang, Oliver Kroemer, Katerina Fragkiadaki

CoRL 2019

[Project Page] | [Paper] | [Code]


Domain Randomization for Macromolecule Structure Classification and Segmentation in Electron Cyro-tomograms

Chengqian Che*, Zhou Xian*, Xiangrui ZengXin GaoMin Xu

BIBM 2019



Can Robots Assemble an IKEA Chair?

Francisco Suarez-Ruiz, Zhou Xian, Quang-Cuong Pham

Science Robotics 2018

[Paper] | [Preprint] | [Video]


Closed-Chain Manipulation of Large Objects by Multi-Arm Robotic Systems
Zhou Xian, Puttichai Lertkultanon, Quang-Cuong Pham

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2017

[Paper] | [Video]

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