hello world

Hi, I'm Dheera Venkatraman. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and do robotics, machine learning, and perception. I currently work at Freedom Robotics where we make enterprise robot fleet monitoring solutions. Prior to that I co-founded Robby Technologies, a Y Combinator-backed company which did 3+ years of robotic deliveries of food, groceries, and packages around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before that, I completed my Ph.D. at the Optical and Quantum Communications Group at MIT, where I led the experimental implementation of a single-photon 3D camera/LIDAR, among other optics work. I come from a strong physics background and tend to attack most problems from first principles, and have lots of side projects in imaging, robotics, and photography. I have strong interests in promoting the use of robotics for greater good, including safety, convenience, and sustainability.

My resume, if you are looking for it.


I'm fascinated by the physics of light. Photography is one of my main hobbies. I've done many photography projects, but of late, since I'm in California where dark skies are plentiful, I've been seizing the opportunities to image nebulas and deep sky objects in the context of natural landscapes, and it also allows for hiking as exercise. I also do a lot of other photography.

In my spare time I also like building robots, hiking, biking, piano, and experimenting with food. I also think a lot about solutions to sustainability problems and how we can use technology to face them.

  live by design

I like to live by design, not by default. If I can't find software that does what I want, I will usually build it. If I can't find a restaurant that serves what I want, I'll make it. But that applies to other things as well, like furniture, lighting, and hopefully many more things to come. One of my dreams is to one day have designed everything I own. I realize I may never get there, but I will try.

  world citizen + tck

I'm a global citizen. I don't have a sense of being "from" anywhere. (Seriously, please don't ask this question, or I might throw a NullPointerException at you.) I'm a Third-Culture Kid, my culture, nationality, ethnicity, and languages all have basically nothing to do with each other, and the concept of being "from" a specific place is one that I never had.


If you are wondering parts of the world have influenced me, or are simply looking for travel recommendations or tips, you might want to take a look at the places I have been.