Thomas Kollar aka thomas kollar, tom kollar, tom, tkollar

Research Scientist

Work History

Toyota Research Institute
Research Manager
Interaction, Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

Toyota Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Human-Robot Interaction, Speech, Perception and Machine Learning for Home Robotics.

Amazon Inc.
Senior Scientist
Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing for Amazon Echo.

Amazon Inc.
Research Scientist
Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing for Amazon Echo

Apple Inc.
Research Scientist
Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing for Siri

Carnegie Mellon University
Postdoctoral Fellow
Grounded Language Understanding, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Graduate Student
Grounded Language Understanding, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence

University of Rochester
B.S. Computer Science; B.A. Mathematics

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About me

I am currently a senior research manager in the machine learning group at the Toyota Research Institute. I was previously a research scientist in Alexa Machine Learning working on natural language understanding. I was previously a Research Scientist at Apple Inc., developing algorithms for natural language processing and machine learning to improve the accuracy and performance of Siri.

Before industry, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, working at the intersection of perception, robotics, machine learning and natural language processing. I hold a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science, both from MIT, a B.S. in Computer Science, with highest honors, from the University of Rochester, and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester. I was general chair of the HRI Pioneers Workshop at the 6th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. As an undergraduate, I developed an hors d'oeuvre-serving robot to compete in the AAAI robotics competition. I am a member of IEEE, AAAI, and Sigma Xi.


Nicholas Roy, Stefanie Tellex, Felix Duvallet, Matt Walter, Sachi Hemachandra, Manuela Veloso, Jayant Krishnamurthy, Grant Strimel, Deb Roy, Mehdi Samadi, Daniele Nardi, Tony Stentz, Alvaro Soto, Seth Teller, Emma Brunskill Emma Strubell Vittorio Perera Tagyoung Chung Adrien Gaidon Jeannette Bohg Chelsea Finn Percy Liang Siddharth Karamcheti Suraj Nair Dorsa Sadigh Ken Goldberg

Selected Publications

Language-Driven Representation Learning for Robotics
Siddharth Karamcheti, Suraj Nair, Annie Chen, Thomas Kollar, Chelsea Finn, Dorsa Sadigh, Percy Liang
submitted 2023 | arxiv

AutoBag: Learning to Open Plastic Bags and Insert Objects
Lawrence Chen, Baiyi Shi, Daniel Seita, Richard Cheng, Thomas Kollar, David Held, Ken Goldberg
ICRA 2023 | arxiv

SGTM 2.0: Autonomously Untangling Long Cables using Interactive Perception
Kaushik Shivakumar, Vainavi Viswanath, Anrui Gu, Yahav Avigal, Justin Kerr, Jeffrey Ichnowski, Richard Cheng, Thomas Kollar, Ken Goldberg
ICRA 2023 | arxiv

Shapo: Implicit representations for multi-object shape, appearance, and pose optimization
Zubair Irshad, Sergey Zakharov, Rares Ambrus, Thomas Kollar, Zsolt Kira, Adrien Gaidon
ECCV 2022 | arxiv

What Makes Representation Learning from Videos Hard for Control?
Tony Z. Zhao, Siddharth Karamcheti, Thomas Kollar, Chelsea Finn, Percy Liang
RSS Workshop, 2022 | pdf | arxiv

Efficiently Learning Single-Arm Fling Motions to Smooth Garments
Lawrence Yunliang Chen, Huang Huang, Ellen Novoseller, Daniel Seita, Jeffrey Ichnowski, Michael Laskey, Richard Cheng, Thomas Kollar, Ken Goldberg
ISER 2022 | pdf | arxiv

CenterSnap: Single-Shot Multi-Object 3D Shape Reconstruction and Categorical 6D Pose and Size Estimation
Muhammad Zubair Irshad, Thomas Kollar, Michael Laskey, Kevin Stone, Zsolt Kira
ICRA 2022 | pdf | arxiv

SimNet: Enabling Robust Unknown Object Manipulation from Pure Synthetic Data via Stereo
Thomas Kollar, Michael Laskey, Kevin Stone, Brijen Thananjeyan, Mark Tjersland
CORL 2021 | pdf | arxiv

A Mobile Manipulation System for One-Shot Teaching of Complex Tasks in Homes
Max Bajracharya, James Borders, Dan Helmick, Thomas Kollar, Michael Laskey, John Leichty, Jeremy Ma, Umashankar Nagarajan, Akiyoshi Ochiai, Josh Petersen, Krishna Shankar, Kevin Stone, Yutaka Takaoka
ICRA 2020 | pdf | arxiv

Generalized Grounding Graphs: A Probabilistic Framework for Understanding Grounded Commands
Thomas Kollar, Stefanie Tellex, Matthew R. Walter, Albert Huang, Abraham Bachrach, Sachi Hemachandra, Emma Brunskill, Ashis Banerjee, Deb Roy, Seth Teller, Nicholas Roy
Journal to arXiv 2018 | pdf | arxiv

Multi-task learning for parsing the Alexa Meaning Representation Language
Vittorio Perera, Tagyoung Chung, Thomas Kollar, Emma Strubell
AAAI 2018 | pdf

Learning Task Knowledge from Dialog and Web Access
Vittorio Perera, Robin Soetens, Thomas Kollar, Mehdi Samadi, Yichao Sun, Daniele Nardi, Rene van de Molengraft, Manuela Veloso
Robotics, 2015 | pdf

Grounding Verbs of Motion in Natural Language Commands to Robots
Thomas Kollar, Stefanie Tellex, Deb Roy, Nicholas Roy
Experimental Robotics, 79:31-47, 2014 | pdf

Toward Interactive Grounded Language Acquisition
Thomas Kollar, Jayant Krishnamurthy and Grant Strimel
In Proceedings, Robotics: Science and Systems, 2013 | pdf

Jointly Learning to Parse and Perceive: Connecting Natural Language to the Physical World
Jayant Krishnamurthy and Thomas Kollar
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 2013 | pdf

Imitation Learning for Natural Language Direction Following through Unknown Environments
Felix Duvallet, Thomas Kollar, Anthony Stentz
In Proceedings, International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2013 | pdf
Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Nominee

Clarifying Commands with Information-Theoretic Human-Robot Dialog
R. Deits, S. Tellex, P. Thaker, D. Simeonov, T. Kollar and N. Roy.
Journal of Human Robot Interaction, 2(2):58-79, 2013 | pdf

Indoor scene recognition by a mobile robot through adaptive object detection
P. Espinace, T. Kollar, N. Roy, A. Soto
Robots and Autonomous Systems, 61(9):932-947, 2013 | pdf

Understanding Natural Language Commands for Robotic Navigation and Mobile Manipulation
Thomas Kollar, Stefanie Tellex, Steven Dickerson, Matthew R. Walter, Ashis Gopal Banerjee, Seth Teller, Nicholas Roy
Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 2011 | pdf
(25% acceptance)

Approaching the Symbol Grounding Problem with Probabilistic Graphical Models
S. Tellex, T. Kollar, S. Dickerson, M. R. Walter, A. G. Banerjee, S. Teller, and N. Roy
AI Magazine. 32(4):64-76, 2011 | pdf

Following and Interpreting Narrated Guided Tours
S. Hemachandra, T. Kollar, N. Roy and S. Teller
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 | pdf

Grounding Spatial Language for Video Search
Stefanie Tellex, Thomas Kollar, George Shaw, Nicholas Roy and Deb Roy
Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI), 2010 | pdf
Best Student Paper (44% acceptance; 25% for oral)

Toward Understanding Natural Language Directions
Thomas Kollar, Stefanie Tellex, Deb Roy, and Nick Roy
Proceedings of Human Robot Interaction Conference, 2010 | pdf
(21% acceptance)

Utilizing object-object and object-scene context when planning to find things
Thomas Kollar and Nick Roy
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2009. | pdf

Trajectory Optimization using Reinforcement Learning for Map Exploration
Thomas Kollar and Nick Roy
International Journal of Robotics Research, 2008. | pdf


Learning to understand spatial language for robotic navigation and mobile manipulation
Thomas Kollar
Ph.D. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011.



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