Flying Robots: Autonomous Agile Physical Interaction

Giuseppe Loianno

Abstract: Flying Robots, often called drones, are starting to play a major role in several tasks such as search and rescue, interaction with the environment, inspection, patrolling and monitoring. Agile navigation of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) through unknown environments, while concurrently interacting and manipulating the environment poses a number of challenges in terms of perception, state estimation, planning, and control. In this talk I will present some recent results on manipulation, grasping, and transportation with small scale drones using a minimal on-board sensor suite composed by a single camera system and IMU. Finally, I will also show the role of perception, control, and mechanics co-design once multiple physically interconnected vehicles are employed to solve the a manipulation and transportation task.

Bio: Prof. Giuseppe Loianno is an assistant professor at the New York University and director of the Agile Robotics and Perception Lab ( working on autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles. Prior to NYU he was a lecturer, research scientist, and team leader at the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BSc and MSc degrees in automation engineering, both with honors, from the University of Naples “Federico II” in December 2007 and February 2010, respectively. He received his PhD in computer and control engineering focusing in robotics in May 2014 in the PRISMA Lab group. Dr. Loianno has published more than 50 conference papers, journal papers, and book chapters. His research interests include visual odometry, sensor fusion, and visual servoing for micro aerial vehicles. He received the Conference Editorial Board Best Reviewer Award at ICRA 2016, National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Young Investigator Award 2018. He is the program chair of IEEE SSRR 2019. He has organized multiple workshops on Micro Aerial Vehicles during IROS conferences and created the new International Symposium on Aerial Robotics (ISAR). He is the program chair for SSRR 2019. His work has been featured in a large number of renowned international news and magazines.

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