Nikhil Varma Keetha

PhD in Robotics @ The Robotics Institute, CMU • Wander into the unknown 🛣️



1723 Murray Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Hello! I’m a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) advised by Sebastian Scherer, as a part of the AirLab.

I have an innate passion for understanding how human perception & navigation works and how we can build real-world deployable autonomous systems with a positive societal impact. In pursuit of this passion, I aim to build efficient perception systems which leverage the inherent temporality and structure of the real world. My research interests lie at the intersection of temporal computer vision, field robotics, cognitive neuroscience, and self-supervised learning.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, India. During my undergrad, I had the pleasure to intern at Mila and QUT Centre for Robotics and was also a 2021 CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholar. I’m grateful to have many wonderful mentors and collaborators!

Apart from research, I’m a huge movie buff and find recreation in cooking, music, anime, and gaming.


Dec 1, 2023 SplaTAM is now live!
Sep 1, 2023 Collaborating with Deva Ramanan on dynamic reconstruction & tracking in the wild!
Aug 1, 2023 AnyLoc is live!
Mar 14, 2023 Tartan Planning Series is now live!
Feb 14, 2023 ConceptFusion is public!
Feb 2, 2023 Received CMU RI PhD offer for Fall 2023!
Nov 1, 2022 Reviewing for CVPR 2023
Oct 15, 2022 Reviewed for IEEE ICRA 2023
Sep 1, 2022 RoboLaunch reached 13,000 students & viewers worldwide!
Jun 1, 2022 Organized the RoboLaunch Initiative at CMU
May 30, 2022 Graduated B.Tech with Distinction!
Apr 11, 2022 Reviewed for ECCV 2022
Mar 23, 2022 Reviewed for IEEE IROS 2022
Mar 19, 2022 Accepted Fully-funded MS in Robotics offer from CMU!
Mar 4, 2022 AirObject accepted to CVPR 2022!
Oct 10, 2021 Reviewed for IEEE RA-L & ICRA 2022
Sep 27, 2021 Presented HEAPUtil at IROS 2021
Aug 10, 2021 Presented RISS Summer Experience as a part of the 2021 RISS Community Seminar Series
Jun 14, 2021 HEAPUtil accepted to IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) and IROS 2021!
May 1, 2021 Organizing the Tartan SLAM Series at CMU Robotics Institute
Apr 1, 2021 Interning at the AirLab CMU mentored by Dr. Chen Wang and Prof. Sebastian Scherer
Mar 25, 2021 Reviewed for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) & IROS 2021
Mar 18, 2021 Selected as a CMU Robotics Institute Summer Scholar!
Jan 1, 2021 Winter 2021 Intern at REAL Mila mentored by Krishna Murthy and Prof. Liam Paull
Nov 1, 2020 Received ACCV 2020 Diversity Grant
Aug 14, 2020 Interning at the QUT Centre for Robotics mentored by Dr. Sourav Garg and Prof. Michael Milford

Featured Publications


  1. gif/splatam.gif
    SplaTAM: Splat, Track & Map 3D Gaussians for Dense RGB-D SLAM
    Arxiv, 2023
  2. gif/anyloc.gif
    AnyLoc: Towards Universal Visual Place Recognition
    IEEE RA-L, 2023


  1. gif/airobject_teaser.gif
    AirObject: A Temporally Evolving Graph Embedding for Object Identification
    Nikhil KeethaChen WangYuheng QiuKuan Xu, and Sebastian Scherer
    In CVPR, 2022


  1. img/VPR_Util.jpg
    A Hierarchical Dual Model of Environment- and Place-specific Utility for Visual Place Recognition
    Nikhil KeethaMichael Milford, and Sourav Garg
    IEEE RA-L & IROS, 2021