Professor Peter Weiliang Xu

Profile Image
Chair in Mechatronics


2017 IEEE 24th International Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (M2VIP2017), Auckland, New Zealand, 21-23 Nov 2017

Peter Xu joined the University of Auckland on 1  February 2011, as Chair in Mechatronics Engineering.  He was the Professor of Mechatronics (2007-2010), Associate Professor (2005-2006) and Senior Lecturer (1999-2004) in School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand. Prior to coming to New Zealand, he worked at the City University of Hong Kong (1993-1998), the University of Stuttgart, Germany (1990-1992) and Southeast University, China (1988-1989).

His current research interests are mainly in areas of advanced mechatronics/robotics with applications in medicine and foods. He is Senior Member of IEEE and Fellow of IPENZ (Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand). He has served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics (since 2003), was Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (2008-2009), and Editor for International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, IJISTA (2005-2010).

Professor Xu is the Principal Invstigator for Research Theme "Intervential Technologies" and the Leader for Platform Technology "Actuation and Control" at the New Zealand Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE).

Professor Xu is also an Associate Investigator at Riddet Institute, The New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) in Food, Innovation and Health and The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technologies, The New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE).


BE (Manufacturing), Southeast University, China, 1982
ME (Mechanical), Southeast University, China, 1985
PhD (Mechtraonics), Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1988

Click here for Professor Peter Xu's full CV (last updated Jan 2017).

Research | Current

  • Advanced robotics in foods
    • Chewing robotics
    • Swallowing robotics
    • Neurobotics
    • Soft-bodied peristaltic XY table for simultaneous sorting of multiple delicate objects
    • Robotic instrumentation for food texture and rheology analysis
  • Advanced mechatronics in medicine
    • Soft-bodied robotic instrumentation
    • Robotic orthopedics
    • Neurological rehabilitation
    • Minimally invasive surgery - fiber optic surgical tools
  • Advanced mechatronics for agriculture 
    • Aerial manipulation for forest canopy sampling
    • Autonomous omni-directional mobile robotics
    • Automatic pine tree shoot culturing

Teaching | Current

  • MECHENG 322 - Control Systems 
  • MECHENG 706 - Mechatronics Design 
  • MECHENG 724 - Multivariable Control Systems 
  • MECHENG 736 - Biomechatronic Systems

Postgraduate supervision

Current on-going PhD students (Status of Sep 2016)

  1. Z.X. Chen, Data-driven Closed-loop Control of a Soft Robotics Table for Simultaneous Multiple Object Manipulation, The University of Auckland, 2019 (expected)
  2. B.X. Chen, Soft Robotics – Sensing and Control for Foods Mastication, The University of Auckland, 2019 (expected)
  3. D. Bhattacharya, Primary and Secondary Peristalsis Control of a Soft-bodied Swallowing Robot, The University of Auckland, 2019 (expected)
  4. S. Mostashiri, Dynamics and Control of Actuation Redundant Parallel Robots,  The University of Auckland, 2019 (expected)
  5. D. Yu, Modeling and Analysis of a Pneumatically Actuated Soft Robot Mimicking Human Gastric Motility, The University of Auckland, 2018 (expected)
  6. A.B. Hashem, Biomimicry of Human Gastric Motility Soft-bodied Robot, The University of Auckland,  2018
  7. A.B. Din, Stretchable Sensing for Pressure and Deformation in Soft-bodied Robotics, The University of Auckland, 2018 (expected)
  8. H. Chen, Miniature Fiber Optic Raman Sensor for In Vivo Non-contact Nerve Detection in Minimally Invasive Spine, The University of Auckland, 2018  (expected)
  9. J. Kutia, Aerial Manipulation for Canopy Sampling, The University of Auckland, The University of Auckland, 2017 (expected)
  10. L. Xie, Mechatronics Design and Energy-Optimal Autonomous Navigation of a Heavy-Duty Omnidirectional Mecanum Mobile Robot, The University of Auckland, 2017 (expected)
  11. Z.C. Deng, A Novel XY Soft Machine Table Capable of Simultaneous Multiple Object Manipulation Through Surface Deformation, The University of Auckland, 2017 (expected)
  12. X.M. Lu, PhD, Soft-bodied Robotic Tongue, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China, 2017 (expected)
  13. Z.L. Mo, A Miniature Temperature-Compensated Fiber Optic Force Sensor for Minimally Invasive Surgeries, The University of Auckland, 2017 (expected)


Alexander von Homboldt (AvH) Research Fellowship (1990)

Korean Federation of Science and Technology (KoFST) Research Fellowship (2006)

Japan Society of the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellowship (2010)

Young Academics Research Award, Fuk Ying Tong Foundation, China (1996)



Programme Director, BE(Hons) Mechatronics Engineering


Areas of expertise

Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, since 2003

Editor/Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technology and Applications, since 2005

Associate Editor, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 2008-2010

Technical Committee Member, Sensors and Actuators, IEEE, since 2012

Professional affiliations

  • Senior Member IEEE
  • Fellow, IPENZ


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Zhu, M., Xu, W., & Cheng, L. (2017). Esophageal Peristaltic Control of a Soft-bodied Swallowing Robot by Central Pattern Generator. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 22 (1), 91-98. 10.1109/TMECH.2016.2609465
  • Stommel, M., & Xu, W. (2016). Learnability of the Moving Surface Profiles of a Soft Robotic Sorting Table. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, 13 (4), 1581-1587. 10.1109/TASE.2016.2570208
  • Stommel, M., Herzog, O., & Xu, W. (2016). Hyperplane arrangements for the fast matching and classification of visual landmarks. Pattern Analysis and Applications, 19 (3), 621-629. 10.1007/s10044-014-0417-3
  • Henkel, C., Bubeck, A., & Xu, P. W. (2016). Energy efficient dynamic window approach for local path planning in mobile service robotics. Paper presented at 9th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles IAV 2016, Leipzig. 29 June - 1 July 2016. IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline). 10.1016/j.ifacol.2016.07.610
  • Xu, P. W., Stol, K. A., Jiang, S., & Graham, B. (2016). Towards autonomous flight of an unmanned aerial system in plantation forests. Paper presented at The 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, VA, USA. 7 June - 10 June 2016. 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS),. 10.1109/ICUAS.2016.7502613
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Karl Stol
  • Deng, Z., Stommel, M., & Xu, W. (2016). A Novel Soft Machine Table for Manipulation of Delicate Objects Inspired by Caterpillar Locomotion. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 21 (3), 1702-1710. 10.1109/TMECH.2016.2519333
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Chong Deng
  • Zhu, M., Xie, M., Xu, W., & Cheng, L. K. (2016). A Nanocomposite-Based Stretchable Deformation Sensor Matrix for a Soft-Bodied Swallowing Robot. IEEE Sensors Journal, 16 (10), 3848-3855. 10.1109/JSEN.2016.2536724
  • Scheifele, C., Lechler, A., Daniel, C., & Xu, P. W. (2016). Real-time extension of ROS based on a network of modular blocks for highly precise motion generation. Paper presented at 14th IEEE International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control (AMC16), Auckland. 22 April - 24 April 2016. 10.1109/AMC.2016.7496339


Contact details

Primary location

Level 7, Room 702
New Zealand

Web links