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Abhinav Valada

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Technische Fakultät
Autonome Intelligente Systeme
Georges-Köhler-Allee 080
D-79110 Freiburg i. Br., Germany
Office:   080-022

Phone:   +49 761 203-8025
Fax:   +49 761 203-8007

About me

My research is in the intersection of robotics, machine learning and computer vision with a focus on tackling real-world perceptual challenges and improving model efficiency by learning scalable models that jointly perform many tasks. I develop learning algorithms which facilitate transfer of information through self-supervised multimodal and multitask learning that inturn enable robots to perceive more robustly and reason about the environment more effectively.

  • 09/2014 - now: Working at the Autonomous Intelligent Systems group of Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard as Ph.D. student
  • 07/2013 - 07/2014: Systems Engineer, National Robotics Engineering Center, USA
  • 01/2012 - 12/2013: M.S. in Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • 11/2011 - 06/2013: Systems/Software Engineer, Field Robotics Center, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • 01/2010 - 10/1011: Staff Research Assistant, Field Robotics Center, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • 06/2006 - 08/2010: B.Tech. in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering, VIT University, India

  • My Erdös numberis at most 4.

    Publications and ongoing research can be found on the left panel.

    Download my full cv here

Research Interests

  • Deep Convolutional Neural Networks
    • Scene Understanding - Multiclass recognition/detection, segmentation
    • Mixture of Deep Experts - Multimodal fusion, self-supervised learning
    • Uncertainty Quantification - Confidence estimation, active learning
  • Deep Multitask Learning
  • Visual Learning

Research Projects

  • FOUNT^2-Fliegendes Lokalisierungssystem für die Rettung und Bergung von Verschütteten.
  • RLDL-Robust Localization using Deep Landmark Features.
  • LifeNav-Reliable lifelong navigation for mobile robots.
  • ZAFH-AAL-Zentrum für Angewandte Forschung an Hochschulen für Ambient Assisted Living (Collaborative Center for Applied Research on Ambient Assisted Living)


Students Supervised

  • Dynamic Object Invariant Space Recovery, Borna Bešić, 2018, Master's Project (Ongoing)
  • Next Best View Planning for Autonomous Exploration and Mapping, Moritz Mohr, 2018, Bachelor's Thesis (Ongoing)
  • Autonomous Landing of Aerial Vehicles in Rubbles, Himanshu Maurya, 2018, DAAD Internship
  • Robust Multimodal Segmentation in Challenging Perceptual Conditions, Rohit Mohan, 2018, Bachelor's Thesis
  • Landmark-based Visual Localization using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks, Jay Patravali (together with Noha Radwan), 2017, Internship
  • Room Layout Estimation using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks, Louay Abdelgawad, 2017, Master's Project
  • Multimodal Localization using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks, Hanna Stellmach (together with Noha Radwan), 2017, Master's Project
  • Predicting Landing Sites in Aerial Images from Disaster Scenarios, Mayank Mittal, 2017, DAAD Internship
  • Laser-Camera Label Transfer for Semantic Segmentation, Rohit Suri, 2017, DAAD Internship
  • Semantic Segmentation of Moving Objects, Johan Vertens, 2016, Master's Thesis
  • Robust Deep Semantic Segmentation using Convoluted Mixture of Deep Experts, Ankit Dhall, 2016, DAAD Internship
  • Multimodal Vegetation Segmentation using Up-Convolutional Neural Networks, Julian Kunzelmann, 2016, Bachelor's Thesis
  • Navigational Autonomy for Nano-Quadrotors, Gonzalo Nuno Estevez, 2015, Bachelor's Thesis



  • Feb 2019: PhD defense - summa cum laude.
  • Sep 2018: Our FOUNT2 project has been seleted to represent the Ministry of Education and Research of Germany at SECURITY Essen 2018
  • Sep 2018: VLocNet++ which achieves state-of-the-art visual localization performance by leveraging the semantic and geometric knowledge of the environment is accepted for IEEE RA-L journal
  • Jun 2018: I will serve as the General Co-Chair of RSS Pioneers 2019
  • Jun 2018: "Incorporating Semantic and Geometric Priors in Deep Pose Regression" is accepted for RSS-LAIR
  • Jan 2018: VLocNet - the first CNN based localization method to outperform local feature based techniques is accepted for ICRA'18
  • Nov 2017: I was awarded the ISRR 2017 Doctorial Consortium Grant
  • Sep 2017: "Perspectives on Deep Multimodel Robot Learning" is accepted as one of the 16 papers selected for ISRR'17 Blue Sky Papers
  • Jul 2017: "Robust Proprioceptive Terrain Classification" is accepted for IJRR Special Issue on Robotics Research
  • Jun 2017: "SMSnet: Semantic Motion Segmentation" is accepted for IROS'17
  • Jan 2017: "AdapNet: Adaptive Semantic Segmentation" is accepted for ICRA'17
  • Oct 2016: Benjamin and I will give an invited talk on "Techniques for Reliable Robot Perception in Unstructured Environments" at IROS'16 workshop
  • Sep 2016: Adaptive Semantic Segmentation to be presented at NVIDIA GTC EUROPE 2016
  • Aug 2016: Paper accepted for IROS'16 workshop on State Estimation and Terrain Perception for All Terrain Mobile Robots
  • Jun 2016: Deep MultiSpectral Scene Understanding accepted for oral presentation at ISER'16
  • May 2016: Paper accepted for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Robotik-Tage 2016 (DGR Days 2016)
  • May 2016: Paper accepted for RSS'16 workshop on the Limits and Potentials of Deep Learning in Robotics
  • Mar 2016: Acoustics-based terrain classification selected for IJRR special issue on Robotics Research
  • Jan 2016: Two papers accepted for ICRA'16
  • Jul 2015: Acoustics based Terrain Classification accepted for oral presentation at ISRR'15
  • Jun 2015: Paper accepted for RSS'15 workshop on Model Learning for Human-Robot Communication
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