Balakumar Sundaralingam is a Senior Research Scientist at NVIDIA. His research interests are in enabling robots to fluidly navigate and interact in unstructured environments while sharing the space with humans. His work involves combining perception, machine learning, numerical optimization, control theory, and robot software-hardware interfaces. He received his Ph.D. in Computing (Robotics) from the University of Utah under the supervision of Prof. Tucker Hermans. His Ph.D. research focused on planning and tactile perception for in-hand manipulation leveraging trajectory optimization, learned models, and structured inference. Previously, he has worked on mobile robots, specifically on mapping with LIDAR and reactive collision avoidance methods. He also has expertise in building robotic systems ranging from mobile robots to dexterous manipulation systems.