Aerial robotic manipulators: Unsolved challenges and perspectives

Anibal Ollero

Abstract: In this talk I will present some recent results on aerial robotic manipulation, including relevant applications to inspection and maintenance obtained in the H2020 AEROARMS project. Then challenges and limitations on aerial robotic manipulation while flying will be pointed out. Thus, I will present results on the H2020 HYFLIERS project on robots with hybrid aerial and ground locomotion and manipulation capabilities. Finally, I will introduce the ERC Advanced Grant GRIFFIN in which bioinspired aerial robots are being designed and implemented. These robots will combine flapping, with perching and manipulation capabilities.


Anibal Ollero is full Professor Head of GRVC at University Seville, and Scientific Advisor of the Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) also in Seville. He has been full professor at the Universities of Santiago and Malaga (Spain) and researcher at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA) and LAAS-CNRS (Toulouse, France).

He authored more than 700 publications, including 9 books and 180 papers in journals of the citation index and has been editor of 13 books. He has been supervisor or co-supervisor of 40 PhD Thesis that have received many awards. He lead more than 160 research projects, participating in more than 22 projects of the European Research Programmes being coordinator of 7 and associated or deputy coordinator of 3, all of them dealing with unmanned aerial systems and aerial robots.

He is currently the coordinator of the H2020-AEROARMS project with the participation of 10 universities, research centers and companies dealing with aerial robotic manipulators and applications to inspection and maintenance. From November 2018 he is running the GRIFFIN ERC-Advanced Grant with the objective of developing a new generation of aerial robots that will be able to glide, flapping the wings, perch and manipulate by maintaining the equilibrium.

He has transferred technologies to 20 companies and has been awarded with 22 international research and innovation awards, including the recent Rei Jaume I in New Technologies (Spain), the Overall Information and Communication Technologies Innovation Radar Prize 2017 of the European Commission, and has been also elected between the three European innovators of the year being candidate to the European personalities of the year 2017.

He has delivered plenaries and keynotes in more than 100 events including IEEE ICRA 2016 and IEEE IROS 2018.

He is IEEE Fellow “for contributions to the development and deployment of aerial robots”. Currently co-chair of the “IEEE Technical Committee on Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”, coordinator of the “Aerial Robotics Topic Group” de euRobotics and member of the “Board of Directors” of euRobotics. He has been also founder and president of the Spanish Society for the Research and Development in Robotics (SEIDROB) until November 2017.

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