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I am currently a Research Scientist at Toyota Research Institute. I received my PhD in CS from MIT where I worked with John Leonard on SLAM-aware perception and learning in mobile robots. Prior to coming to MIT, I was a computer vision developer at PhaseSpace Motion Capture for 2 years working on real-time computer-vision related technologies. I completed my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in ‘08 at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. I’ve also had the opportunity to work as a research intern at some exciting companies like Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) and Segway.

I am particularly interested in developing SLAM-aware robots that can learn persistently in an environment from visual experience. My research attempts to understand the capabilities at the intersection of object and scene understanding and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). I am interested in high-impact ventures leveraging computer vision, machine learning and perception technologies in autonomous systems (self-driving cars, house-hold robotics, UAVs, AUVs etc). For a more comprehensive overview of my background and previous work, please refer to my CV.

Present 2011 - 2017 2014 2009 - 2011 2007 2005 - 2008

Publications

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SLAM-Aware, Self-Supervised Perception in Mobile Robots
S. Pillai
PhD Thesis, September 2017
[ pdf ]

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Self-Supervised Place Recognition in Mobile Robots
S. Pillai and J. Leonard
Learning for Localization and Mapping Workshop, IROS, 2017
[ pdf ]

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Towards Visual Ego-motion Learning in Robots
S. Pillai and J. Leonard
International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2017
[ pdf ]

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Towards Richer, and Self-Supervised Perception in Robots
S. Pillai
Ph.D Thesis Proposal, Apr 2017
[ pdf ]

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SLAMinDB: Centralized graph databases for mobile robotics
D. Fourie, S. Claassens, S. Pillai, R. Mata, J. Leonard
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2017
[ pdf ]

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High-Performance and Tunable Stereo Reconstruction
S. Pillai, S. Ramalingam and J. Leonard
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2016
[ pdf, video, bib ]

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Monocular SLAM Supported Object Recognition
S. Pillai and J. Leonard
Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), 2015
[ pdf, bib, video, slides, poster ]

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Line-Sweep: Cross-Ratio for Wide-Baseline Matching and 3D Reconstruction
S. Ramalingam, M. Antunes, D. Snow, G. H. Lee, S. Pillai
Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2015
[ pdf, bib, video ]

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Towards Enabling a Robot to Effectively
Assist People in Human-Occupied Envioronments

S. Hemachandra, R. Finman, S. Pillai, M. Walter, S. Teller
AAAI Spring Symposium: Designing Intelligent Robots, March 2012
[ pdf, bib ]