Florian Shkurti

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
Faculty Member, UofT Robotics Institute
Faculty Affiliate, Vector Institute

I direct the Robot Vision and Learning (RVL) lab at the University of Toronto. My research spans mobile and field robotics, machine learning, planning and control. My goal is to develop methods that enable robots to reason and operate efficiently and safely, particularly in outdoor environments and alongside humans. To this end, I am working on learning-based planning and control methods that improve with experience, and on safe behaviors learned from high-fidelity physics and rendering simulators. When human supervision and human-robot interaction are necessary, I want to enable people to effectively specify the desired task and behavior of their robots through as few interactive demonstrations as possible, without requiring them to write code. I am interested in:

Autonomous robots for environmental monitoring and scientific exploration
  • Learning visual attention operators for exploration and navigation
  • Active sensing and information gathering
  • Informed visual search
  • Visual navigation
  • Video and sensor data summarization
  • Field robotics
Machine learning for planning and control
Safety guarantees during robot learning and deployment
One of the applications of my research has been to enable environmental monitoring by robots that autonomously operate in the field and collect useful data for environmental scientists. Human-robot collaboration, learning from a few demonstrations, and robust navigation in 3D are critical in these outdoor domains. I have also worked on vision-based simultaneous mapping, localization, and navigation for ground, aerial, and underwater robots. Another application has been in automatically generating simulation environments for self-driving cars, which in many cases today is done semi-manually and in ways that do not facilitate optimization in high dimensions.


I am looking for postdocs, PhD, MSc, and undergraduate students with computer science or engineering backgrounds. Feel free to email me with your CV, unofficial transcript, and research interests. Prospective graduate students should apply through CS.




Publications

Students

Teaching

Software

CV




Contact Info

x@cs.toronto.edu, x=florian

UTM Campus:
3359 Mississauga Road
Deerfield Hall, Office 3066
Mathematical & Computational Sciences
University of Toronto Mississauga
Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6


St George Campus:
6 King's College Road
D.L. Pratt Building, Office 283E
Department of Computer Science
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, M5S 3H5

Students

Graduate Students

Kevin Xie (with Sanja Fidler)
Qiao Gu
Philip Huang (with Tim Barfoot)
Salar Hosseini
Mohamed Khodeir
Skylar Hao
Cong Wei

Undergraduates

Ben Agro
Yewon Lee
Julia Chae
Ruiqi Wang
Charlotte Zhang
Jason Tang
Pranit Chawla
Artur Kuramshin
Aditya Saigal

Alumni

Chris Agia (next: Stanford CS PhD)
Homanga Bharadhwaj (with Animesh Garg, next: CMU CS PhD)
Sally Chen (next: CMU CS MSc)
Sherry Chen (next: UTIAS MSc)
Dhruv Sharma
Melissa Mozifian (visitor: MILA, McGill)
Zihan Wang (next: Stanford CS MSc)
Siyun Li (next: Stanford CS MSc)
Ali Kuwajerwala (next: MILA MSc)
Ke Dong (with Angela Schoellig, next: Tencent AI)
Stephen Zhao (with Yang Xu, next: UofT CS MSc)
Kamran Ramji (next: Apple)
Zidong Weng (next: Intel)
Haozhe Sheng (next: Google)
Shichen Lu (next: UTIAS MSc)
Yuchen Wu (next: UTIAS MSc)
Yasasa Abeysirigoonawardena (next: Unity Game Engine)


Teaching

CSC477: Introduction to Mobile Robotics, Fall 2021
CSC413: Neural Networks and Deep Learning, Winter 2021
CSC2626: Imitation Learning for Robotics, Winter 2021
CSC477: Introduction to Mobile Robotics, Fall 2020
CSC2621: Imitation Learning for Robotics, Winter 2019
CSC477: Introduction to Mobile Robotics, Fall 2019


Selected Publications

Learning to Search in Task and Motion Planning with Streams
Mohamed Khodeir, Ben Agro, Florian Shkurti. Under review. pdf, bibtex

Taskography: Evaluating Robot Task Planning over Large 3D Scene Graphs
Christopher Agia, Krishna Murthy Jatavallabhula, Mohamed Khodeir, Ondrej Miksik, Vibhav Vineet, Mustafa Mukadam, Liam Paull, Florian Shkurti. Conference on Robot Learning, CoRL '21. pdf, bibtex

Seeing Glass: Joint Point-Cloud and Depth Completion for Transparent Objects
Haoping Xu, Yi Ru Wang, Sagi Eppel, Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Florian Shkurti, Animesh Garg. Conference on Robot Learning, CoRL '21. pdf, bibtex

Physics-based Human Motion Estimation and Synthesis from Videos
Kevin Xie, Tingwu Wang, Umar Iqbal, Yunrong Guo, Sanja Fidler, Florian Shkurti. International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV '21. pdf, bibtex, project page

Continual Model-Based Reinforcement Learning with Hypernetworks
Yizhou Huang, Kevin Xie, Homanga Bharadhwaj, Florian Shkurti. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '21. pdf, bibtex

Conservative Safety Critics for Exploration
Homanga Bharadhwaj, Aviral Kumar, Nicholas Rhinehart, Sergey Levine, Florian Shkurti, Animesh Garg. International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR '21. pdf, bibtex, project page

GradSim: Differentiable Simulation for System Identification and Visuomotor Control
Krishna Jatavallabhula, Miles Macklin, Florian Golemo, Vikram Voleti, Linda Petrini, Martin Weiss, Breandan Considine, Jerome Parent-Levesque, Kevin Xie, Kenny Erleben, Liam Paull, Florian Shkurti, Sanja Fidler, Derek Nowrouzezahrai. International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR '21. pdf, bibtex

Latent Skill Planning for Exploration and Transfer
Kevin Xie*, Homanga Bharadhwaj*, Danijar Hafner, Animesh Garg, Florian Shkurti. International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR '21. pdf, bibtex

DIBS: Diversity-Inducing Information Bottleneck in Model Ensembles
Samarth Sinha, Homanga Bharadhwaj, Anirudh Goyal, Hugo Larochelle, Animesh Garg, and Florian Shkurti. AAAI '21. pdf, bibtex

Shaping Rewards for Reinforcement Learning with Imperfect Demonstrations using Generative Models
Yuchen Wu, Melissa Mozifian, and Florian Shkurti. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA'21. pdf, bibtex

LEAF: Latent Exploration Along the Frontier
Homanga Bharadhwaj, Animesh Garg, and Florian Shkurti. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA'21. pdf, bibtex

LOHO: Latent Optimization of Hairstyles via Orthogonalization
Rohit Saha, Brendan Duke, Florian Shkurti, Graham W. Taylor, Parham Aarabi. CVPR '21. pdf, bibtex

One-Shot Informed Robotic Visual Search in the Wild
Karim Koreitem, Florian Shkurti, Travis Manderson, Wei-Di Chang, Juan Camilo Gamboa Higuera, and Gregory Dudek. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS '20. pdf, bibtex, video

Vision-Based Goal-Conditioned Policies for Underwater Navigation in the Presence of Obstacles
Travis Manderson, Juan Camilo Gamboa Higuera, Stefan Wapnick, Jean-François Tremblay, Florian Shkurti, David Meger, and Gregory Dudek. Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS '20. pdf, bibtex, project page, video

Catch the Ball: Accurate High-Speed Motions for Mobile Manipulators via Inverse Dynamics Learning
Ke Dong, Karime Pereida, Florian Shkurti, and Angela Schoellig. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS '20. pdf, bibtex, video

Model-Predictive Control via Cross-Entropy and Gradient-Based Optimization
Homanga Bharadhwaj*, Kevin Xie*, and Florian Shkurti. Learning for Dynamics and Control, L4DC '20. pdf, bibtex

Generating Adversarial Driving Scenarios in High-Fidelity Simulators
Yasasa Abeysirigoonawardena, Florian Shkurti, and Gregory Dudek. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '19. pdf, bibtex, project page

Model-Based Probabilistic Pursuit via Inverse Reinforcement Learning
Florian Shkurti, Nikhil Kakodkar, and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '18. pdf, bibtex, video

Synthetically Trained 3D Visual Tracker of Underwater Vehicles
Karim Koreitem, Jimmy Li, Ian Karp, Travis Manderson, Florian Shkurti, Gregory Dudek. IEEE OCEANS'18. pdf, bibtex

Underwater Multi-Robot Convoying using Visual Tracking by Detection
Florian Shkurti, Wei-Di Chang, Peter Henderson, Jahidul Islam, Juan Camilo Gamboa Higuera, Jimmy Li, Travis Manderson, Anqi Xu, Gregory Dudek, and Junaed Sattar, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, IROS '17. pdf, bibtex, project page

Topologically Distinct Trajectory Predictions for Probabilistic Pursuit
Florian Shkurti and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, IROS '17. pdf, bibtex, project page

Benchmark Environments for Multitask Learning in Continuous Domains
Peter Henderson, Wei-Di Chang, Florian Shkurti, Johanna Hansen, David Meger, and Gregory Dudek, Workshop on Lifelong Learning at the International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML '17. pdf, bibtex

Texture-Aware SLAM Using Stereo Imagery and Inertial Information
Travis Manderson, Florian Shkurti, and Gregory Dudek, Conference on Computer and Robot Vision, CRV '16. pdf, bibtex, project page

3D Trajectory Synthesis and Control for a Legged Swimming Robot
David Meger, Florian Shkurti, David Cortes Poza, Philippe Giguere, and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, IROS '14. pdf, bibtex, project page

Ear-based Exploration on Hybrid Metric/Topological Maps
Qiwen Zhang, David Whitney, Florian Shkurti, Ioannis Rekleitis, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, IROS '14. pdf, bibtex

Asymmetric Rendezvous Search at Sea
Malika Meghjani, Florian Shkurti, Juan Camilo Gamboa Higuera, Arnold Kalmbach, David Whitney, and Gregory Dudek, Computer and Robot Vision, CRV '14. pdf, bibtex

On the Complexity of Searching for an Evader with a Faster Pursuer
Florian Shkurti and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA ’13. pdf, bibtex

Multi-Domain Monitoring of Marine Environments Using a Heterogeneous Robot Team
Florian Shkurti, Anqi Xu, Malika Meghjani, Juan Camilo Gamboa Higuera, Yogesh Girdhar, Philippe Giguere, Bikram Dey, Jimmy Li, Arnold Kalmbach, Chris Prahacs, Katrine Turgeon, Ioannis Rekleitis, and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS ’12. pdf, bibtex, project page

Socially-Driven Collective Path Planning for Robot Missions
Juan Camilo Gamboa Higuera, Anqi Xu, Florian Shkurti, Gregory Dudek, Conference on Robot Vision, CRV '12. pdf, bibtex

State Estimation for an Underwater Robot using Visual and Inertial Information
Florian Shkurti, Ioannis Rekleitis, Milena Scaccia, and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS ’11. pdf, bibtex

MARE: Marine Autonomous Robotic Explorer
Yogesh Girdhar, Anqi Xu, Bikram Dey, Malika Meghjani, Florian Shkurti, Ioannis Rekleitis, and Gregory Dudek, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS ’11. pdf, bibtex