You are here: Home People Prof. Dr. Abhinav Valada

Prof. Dr. Abhinav Valada

Chair of Autonomous Intelligent Systems
Director of Robot Learning Lab

Postal address:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Technische Fakultät
Robot Learning Lab
Georges-Köhler-Allee 080
D-79110 Freiburg i. Br., Germany

Office: 080-002
Phone: +49 761 203-8025
Fax: +49 761 203-8007


Abhinav Valada is a Professor (W3) at the University of Freiburg, where he directs the Robot Learning Lab. He is a member of the Department of Computer Science, the BrainLinks-BrainTools center, and a founding faculty of the ELLIS unit Freiburg. Abhinav is a DFG Emmy Noether AI Fellow, Scholar of the ELLIS Society, and Chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Robot Learning.

He received his PhD (summa cum laude) working with Prof. Wolfram Burgard at the University of Freiburg in 2019, his MS in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013, and his BTech. in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering from VIT University in 2010. After his PhD, he worked as a Postdoctoral researcher and subsequently an Assistant Professor (W1) from 2020 to 2023. He co-founded and served as the Director of Operations of Platypus LLC from 2013 to 2015, a company developing autonomous robotic boats in Pittsburgh, and has previously worked at the National Robotics Engineering Center and the Field Robotics Center of Carnegie Mellon University from 2011 to 2014.

Abhinav’s research lies at the intersection of robotics, machine learning, and computer vision with a focus on tackling fundamental robot perception, state estimation, and planning problems to enable robots to operate reliably in complex and diverse domains. The overall goal of his research is to develop scalable lifelong robot learning systems that continuously learn multiple tasks from what they perceive and experience by interacting with the real world. For his research, he received the IEEE RAS Early Career Award in Robotics and Automation, NVIDIA Research Award, AutoSens Most Novel Research Award, among others. Many aspects of his research have been prominently featured in wider media such as the Discovery Channel, NBC News, Business Times, and The Economic Times.

Extended CV

Honors & Awards

  • IEEE Early Career Award in Robotics and Automation 2023
  • Best Paper Award at IROS Workshop on Mobile Manipulation and Embodied Intelligence 2022
  • NVIDIA Research Award 2022
  • AutoSens Most Novel Research Award 2022
  • DFG Emmy Noether AI Fellow 2021
  • Winner of the NeurIPS AI Driving Olympics ‐ Panoptic Tacking Challenge 2021
  • Winner of the CVPR Embodied AI SoundSpaces Challenge 2021
  • ELLIS Scholar 2020
  • AutoSens Silver Vision Award 2020
  • Winner of the ECCV Robust Vision Challenge ‐ Panoptic Segmentation 2020
  • Finalist for Georges Giralt PhD Award 2020
  • RSS Pioneers 2018
  • ISRR Doctoral Consortium Award 2017
  • Professional Activities

  • Chair, IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Robot Learning, since 2022
  • Senior Editor IEEE RA-L, since 2024
  • Associate Editor IJRR, since 2023
  • Area Chair CoRL 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Associate Editor IEEE RA-L, 2019-2023
  • Associate Editor IEEE/RSJ IROS 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Associate Editor IEEE ICRA 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Associate Editor ISRR 2022
  • Senior Program Committee Member IJCAI 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Program Committee Member AAAI 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Program Committee Member CoRL 2019, 2020
  • Program Committee Member RSS 2020, 2021
  • Program Committee Member ECAI 2020
  • General Co‐chair, RSS Pioneers 2019