Vishnu Sashank Dorbala


I am a second year CS PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park. I work at the GAMMA lab, under the supervision of Prof. Dinesh Manocha. My current research deals with Embodied Navigation in Social Environments, where I work on interfacing language and visual understanding capabiliities on robots to navigate and perform tasks in various environments.

Prior to starting my PhD studies, I obtained a master's degree in Robotics at UMD. During this time, my primary research focus was on Social Robot Navigation, and worked with Prof. Aniket Bera.

I was a Research Fellow at the Center for Visual Information Technology, IIIT-Hyderabad under Prof. C.V. Jawahar from Sept. 2017 to April 2019. During my time there, I collaborated with Prof. A.H Abdul Hafez on a visual servoing project.

Even before that, I received my undergraduate degree in 2017 from Symbiosis International University. For my BTech. thesis, I worked under Prof. Madhura Ingalhalikar on medical image processing, where I classified brain tumor mutations from their MRI scans.

My current research interests lie in the Embodied AI domain, at the intersection of natural language processing and robotics.

When I do get time, I love to hike, compose music, and play chess. Maybe all together, someday.


  • CLIP-Nav: Using CLIP for Zero-Shot Vision-and-Language Navigation Published at CoRL LangRob Workshop, 2022. [Paper Link ]
  • Can a Robot Trust You? A DRL-Based Approach to Trust-Driven, Human-Guided Navigation Published at ICRA, 2021. [ Arxiv Link, Project Page ]
  • ProxEmo: Gait-based Emotion Learning and Multi-view Proxemic Fusion for Socially-Aware Robot Navigation Published at IROS, 2020. [ Arxiv Link, Project Page ]
  • A Deep Learning Approach for Autonomous Corridor Following Published at IROS, 2019. [ publication, pdf, video ]

Work Experience

Last updated September 2022