Xiaomei Xu

Research Assistant

Research focus: Application of camera technology in the industrial field

Xiaomei Xu has been working as a research assistant at the ZeMA Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology in the Robotics group since April 2020.

In 2019, she graduated with a master’s degree in automation technology from RWTH Aachen University. Xiaomei Xu completed her master’s thesis at the WZL Machine Tool Laboratory of RWTH Aachen University (iCellFactory project). The aim of the iCellFactory project is to build a novel, modularized platform for the cultivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS Cell). In the same year, she was able to publish her master thesis at the 7th CIRP Global Web Conference.

Xiaomei Xu focuses on developing a framework to adaptively relocate collision- and spill-free trajectory planning to the uncertain and dynamic environment. The design (NX) as well as the modeling and simulation was done in Siemens Robot Export and OMPL (Open Motion Planning Library).

During her studies, Xiaomei Xu completed various internships, e.g. at the Research Center Jülich in the field of metal stressing and shaping as well as at the VW Academy Hannover. Here she supported the set-up and roll-out of the VWN Campus Digitalization and supervised workshops on the 3D printing robot arm (planning, programming, implementation) as part of the Ideenexpo 2017.

Since 2020 April she worked for Robotix Academy Project and developed an intelligent system for composing a tangram puzzle with a set of polygons through an industrial robot. In 2021 published at IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) 2021.

Since July 2022, she has been working on the RICAIP project to solve the problem of object recognition and high accuracy 3D pose estimation of industrial parts on Bin Picking challenge, and published in IEEE 10th International Conference on Systems and Control (ICSC) 2022. The Bin Picking sorting system was fully automated after incorporating mathematical methods of point cloud alignment. After completing the construction of the demonstration stand, an article was submitted for the 10th CIRP Conference on Assembly Technology and Systems (CATS) 2024 conference, and will be published in April 2024.

What is your personal motivation for a research career?

I’ve been working to stabilize AI in industrial robotics operations for a variety of assembly tasks. When I see that, at the end of the day, the robots are faster and better than humans in analyzing and processing problems, I feel as if a part of my soul has been transferred to the robots, and I feel that all the hard work has been worthwhile.

“If I can always be so lucky as to be in the assembly automation industry, I hope to use every second of my time to break through a little bit in the field of artificial intelligence and industrial robotics.”

Who influenced you most in your research?

“My former group leader, Ali Kanso, had the biggest impact on me. He inspired me a lot in terms of math.”

In the beginning, my research was limited to combining industrial robots with existing AI methods. After 2 years of being subjected to the strict demands of my group leader, I tried to take a breakthrough step by writing my own mathematical formulas. It was quite a difficult process, but I am always grateful to my group leader for guiding me throughout the 2 years. The current group leader, Attique Bashir, has helped me a lot in writing my thesis, and he is helping me to realize how I should focus my thesis. Last but not least, I would like to thank Prof. Müller, who was the first professor to give me an offer out of the 12 PhD interviews I had and who gave me a lot of affirmation during a very difficult time. I will always stay in my current institute until I finish my PhD.

What do you find most challenging as a female young researcher in a rather male dominated field?

I don’t think research has much to do with gender. What’s important is the pure enjoyment of it. Research requires long hours of concentration and should not be disturbed by external problems.

  • Ali Kanso, Xiaomei XU, Khansa Rekik, Rainer Müller, A Concept to solve Bin Picking problem in the robotics based on CAD Model and Measurement data, 10th International Conference on Systems and Control , 2022