Allen Z. Ren

Hi there! I'm a PhD student at Princeton, where I work with Ani Majumdar on robotics. During PhD I have also spent time at Google DeepMind, Toyota Research Institute, and Stanford ILIAD.

I design algorithms that enable robots and other agents to operate safely and robustly under diverse environment variations, thus building trust between humans and robots.

Research Interests     G. Scholar     LinkedIn     Twitter

allen dot ren at princeton dot edu

Explore until Confident: Efficient Exploration for Embodied Question Answering

Allen Z. Ren, Jaden Clark, Anushri Dixit, Masha Itkina, Anirudha Majumdar, Dorsa Sadigh
Under review, 2024
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Video  •   Code

Perceive With Confidence: Statistical Safety Assurances for Navigation with Learning-Based Perception

Anushri Dixit, Zhiting Mei, Meghan Booker, Mariko Storey-Matsutani, Allen Z. Ren, Anirudha Majumdar
Under review, 2024
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Video  •   Code

Learning to Learn Faster from Human Feedback with Language Model Predictive Control

Jacky Liang, Fei Xia, Wenhao Yu, Andy Zeng, Montserrat Gonzalez Arenas, Maria Attarian, Maria Bauza, Matthew Bennice, Alex Bewley, Adil Dostmohamed, Chuyuan Kelly Fu, Nimrod Gileadi, Marissa Giustina, Keerthana Gopalakrishnan, Leonard Hasenclever, Jan Humplik, Jasmine Hsu, Nikhil Joshi, Ben Jyenis, Chase Kew, Sean Kirmani, Tsang-Wei Edward Lee, Kuang-Huei Lee, Assaf Hurwitz Michaely, Joss Moore, Ken Oslund, Dushyant Rao, Allen Ren, Baruch Tabanpour, Quan Vuong, Ayzaan Wahid, Ted Xiao, Ying Xu, Vincent Zhuang, Peng Xu, Erik Frey, Ken Caluwaerts, Tingnan Zhang, Brian Ichter, Jonathan Tompson, Leila Takayama, Vincent Vanhoucke, Izhak Shafran, Maja Mataric, Dorsa Sadigh, Nicolas Heess, Kanishka Rao, Nik Stewart, Jie Tan, Carolina Parada
Under review, 2024
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Code

Learning a Universal Human Prior for Dexterous Manipulation from Human Preference

Zihan Ding, Yuanpei Chen, Allen Z. Ren, Shixiang Shane Gu, Hao Dong, Chi Jin
Under review, 2024
Webpage  •   PDF

How to Prompt Your Robot: A PromptBook for Manipulation Skills with Code as Policies

Montserrat Gonzalez Arenas, Ted Xiao, Sumeet Singh, Vidhi Jain, Allen Z. Ren, Quan Vuong, Jake Varley, Alexander Herzog, Isabel Leal, Sean Kirmani, Dorsa Sadigh, Vikas Sindhwani, Kanishka Rao, Jacky Liang, Andy Zeng
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2024
Robot Learning Workshop (WRL) at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) 2023

Robots That Ask For Help: Uncertainty Alignment for Large Language Model Planners

Allen Z. Ren, Anushri Dixit, Alexandra Bodrova, Sumeet Singh, Stephen Tu, Noah Brown, Peng Xu, Leila Takayama, Fei Xia, Jake Varley, Zhenjia Xu, Dorsa Sadigh, Andy Zeng, Anirudha Majumdar
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2023
★ Oral Presentation, Best Student Paper Award, CoRL ★
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Video  •   Code  •   Demo  •   Princeton News   •   MIT Technology Review

AdaptSim: Task-Driven Simulation Adaptation for Sim-to-Real Transfer

Allen Z. Ren, Hongkai Dai, Benjamin Burchfiel, Anirudha Majumdar
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2023
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Video

Sim-to-Lab-to-Real: Safe Reinforcement Learning with Shielding and Generalization Guarantees

Kai-Chieh Hsu*, Allen Z. Ren*, Duy Phuong Nguyen, Anirudha Majumdar**, and Jaime F. Fisac**
*Equal contribution in alphabetical order; **Equal advising
Artificial Intelligence Journal (AIJ), October 2022
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Journal  •   Code

Leveraging Language for Accelerated Learning of Tool Manipulation

Allen Z. Ren, Bharat Govil, Tsung-Yen Yang, Karthik Narasimhan, and Anirudha Majumdar
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2022
Webpage  •   PDF  •   Video  •   Princeton News  •   Quanta Magazine

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
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2023
PDF  •   Video  •   Princeton News

Failure Prediction with Statistical Guarantees for Vision-Based Robot Control

Alec Farid, David Snyder, Allen Z. Ren, Anirudha Majumdar
Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), 2022
PDF  •   Video

Distributionally Robust Policy Learning via Adversarial Environment Generation

Allen Z. Ren, Anirudha Majumdar
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2022
PDF  •   Video  •   Code

Stronger Generalization Guarantees for Robot Learning by Combining Generative Models and Real-World Data

Abhinav Agarwal, Sushant Veer, Allen Z. Ren, and Anirudha Majumdar
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2022

Generalization Guarantees for Imitation Learning

Allen Z. Ren, Sushant Veer, and Anirudha Majumdar
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL), 2020
PDF  •   Code  •   Video  •   Experiments  •   Princeton News

Multi-Contact Force-Sensing Guitar for Training and Therapy

Zhiyi Ren, Chun-Cheng Hsu, Can Kocabalkanli, Khanh Nguyen, Iulian I Iordachita, Serap Bastepe-Gray, Nathan Scott
IEEE Sensor Conference, 2019
PDF  •   IEEE  •   Video  •   JHU Magazine  •   WUSA9 News  •   Patent

Toward Robust Stair Climbing of the Quadruped using Proprioceptive Sensing

Zhiyi Ren and Aaron Johnson
CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholars Working Papers Journal, 2018

Dynamic Traversal of Large Gaps by Insects and Legged Robots Reveals a Template

Sean W. Gart, Changxin Yan, Ratan Othayoth, Zhiyi Ren and Chen Li
Bioinspiration and Biomimetics Journal, 2018
PDF  •   Journal

Legged Robots Change Locomotor Modes To Traverse 3-D Obstacles With Varied Stiffness

Zhiyi Ren, Ratan Othayoth, and Chen Li
American Physics Society, Robophysics, 2018


Safe AI Lab, CMU


MLBoost Talk

Safe Robotics Lab, Princeton

Google Brain, Princeton

Apex Lab, SJTU


Dexterous Manipulation Team, TRI


Co-organizer, OOD Workshop, CoRL


Co-organizer, Princeton Robotics Seminar

Reviewer, AIJ, T-RO, RA-L, NeurIPS, L4DC, CoRL, ICRA, RSS

I am from Jiangsu, China. My Chinese name is 任至意. 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. I am a member of the Princeton Flying Club.

Flying up the Hudson River with N3054E on Dec 30, 2022.