My main research interest is focused around motion planning for robots in dynamic environments. I am trying to improve robustness and computational cost of motion planning by exploiting abstract representations of the robot’s pose that capture the interaction between the robot and its environment.

I am using tools and ideas from fields of Optimal Control, Probability Theory, and Topology. In my work I apply ideas from the field of topology to problems in robotics.

I am also interested in computer graphics, animation and visualisation in relation with robot simulation and computer games.



  • Vladimir Ivan, Yiming Yang, Wolfgang Merkt, Michael P. Camilleri, Sethu Vijayakumar. EXOTica: An Extensible Optimization Toolset for Prototyping and Benchmarking Motion Planning and Control. In: Koubaa A. (eds) Robot Operating System (ROS). Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer, vol. 778, pp. 211-240 (Volume 3). 2019 [preprint​]


  • Yiming Yang, Wolfgang Merkt, Vladimir Ivan, Sethu Vijayakumar. Planning in Time-Configuration Space for Efficient Pick-and-Place in Non-Static Environments with Temporal Constraints. Humanoids 2018. [pdf]

  • Henrique Ferrolho, Wolfgang Merkt, Yiming Yang, Vladimir Ivan, Sethu Vijayakumar. Whole-Body End-Pose Planning for Legged Robots on Inclined Support Surfaces in Complex Environments. Humanoids 2018. [pdf]

  • Wolfgang Merkt, Vladimir Ivan, Sethu Vijayakumar. Leveraging Pre-computation with Problem Encoding for Warm-Starting Trajectory Optimization in Complex Environments. IROS 2018. [pdf]

  • Richard Fisher, Benjamin Rosman, Vladimir Ivan. Real-time Motion Planning in Changing Environments Using Topology-based Encoding of Past Knowledge. IROS 2018. [pdf]

  • Leopoldo Armesto, Joao Moura, Valdimir Ivan, Mustafa Suphi Erden, Antonio Sala, Sethu Vijayakumar. Constraint-aware Learning of Policies by Demonstration. IJRR 2018. [pdf]

  • Yiming Yang, Wolfgang Merkt, Vladimir Ivan, Zhibin Li, Sethu Vijayakumar. HDRM: A Resolution Complete Dynamic Roadmap for Real-Time Motion Planning in Complex Environments. RA-L. 2018. [​pdf][​video]


  • Yiming Yang, Wolfgang Xaver Merkt, Henrique Ferrolho, Vladimir Ivan, Sethu Vijayakumar. Efficient Humanoid Motion Planning on Uneven Terrain Using Paired Forward-Inverse Dynamic Reachability Maps. RA-L. 2017 [​pdf][​video]

  • Leopoldo Armesto, Jõao Moura, Vladimir Ivan, Antonio Sala, Sethu Vijayakumar. Learning Constrained Generalizable Policies by Demonstration. Proc. of RSS. 2017 [​pdf][​video]

  • Leopoldo Armesto, Jorren Bosga, Vladimir Ivan, Sethu Vijayakumar. Efficient Learning of Constraints and Generic Null Space Policies. Proc. of ICRA. 2017 [​pdf]


  • Yiming Yang, Vladimir Ivan, Zhibin Li, Maurice Fallon and Sethu Vijayakumar. iDRM: Humanoid Motion Planning with Realtime End–Pose Selection in Complex Environments. Proc. of Humanoids. 2016 [​pdf][​video]

  • Yiming Yang, Vladimir Ivan, Wolfgang Merkt and Sethu Vijayakumar. Scaling Sampling–based Motion Planning to Humanoid Robots. Proc. of ROBIO. 2016 [​pdf][​video]


  • Vladimir Ivan. Topology based representations for motion synthesis and planning. PhD Thesis. 2015 [​pdf]

  • Vladimir Ivan and Sethu Vijayakumar. Space-time Area Coverage Control for Robot Motion Synthesis. Proc. of ICAR. 2015 [​pdf][​video]


  • Karl Pauwels, Vladimir Ivan, Eduardo Ros, Sethu Vijayakumar. Dexterous Reaching, Real-time Object Pose Recognition and Tracking with an Imprecisely Calibrated Moving RGB-D Camera. Proc. of IROS. 2014. [pdf][​video]

  • Karl Pauwels, Leonardo Rubio, Vladimir Ivan, Sethu Vijayakumar and Eduardo Ros. Real-time RGB-D-based Object and Manipulator Pose Estimation. Workshop on RGB-D: Advanced Reasoning with Depth Cameras in conjunction with IROS. 2014. [pdf]


  • Peter Sandilands, Vladimir Ivan, Taku Komura and Sethu Vijayakumar. Dexterous Reaching, Grasp Transfer and Planning Using Electrostatic Representations. Proc. of Humanoids. 2013 [pdf]

  • Vladimir Ivan, Dmitri Zarubin, Marc Toussaint, Taku Komura and Sethu Vijayakumar. Topology-based Representations for Motion Planning and Generalisation in Dynamic Environments with Interactions. IJRR. 2013 [​pdf][​video]

  • Ángel Llamazares, Vladimir Ivan, Eduardo Molinos, Manuel Ocaña and Sethu Vijayakumar. Dynamic Obstacle Avoidance Using Bayesian Occupancy Filter and Approximate Inference. Sensors. 2013; 13(3):2929-2944. 2013 [​pdf]


  • Ángel Llamazares, Vladimir Ivan, Manuel Ocaña and Sethu Vijayakumar. Dynamic obstacle avoidance minimizing energy consumption. Intelligent Vehicles Workshop on Perception in Robotics. 2012 [​pdf]

  • Dmitri Zarubin, Vladimir Ivan, Marc Toussaint, Taku Komura and Sethu Vijayakumar. Hierarchical Motion Planning in Topological Representations. Proc. of RSS. 2012 [​pdf][​video]


University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics

Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour