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Applications of teams of autonomous cooperating aerial vehicles in real-world conditions

Dr. Martin Saska, CTU Prag

Event details
    When Oct 02, 2019
    from 14:00 to 15:30
    Where Raum 0.016
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    Abstract: Deployment of large teams of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) in real-world (outdoor and indoor) environments without precise external localisation or motion capture systems is a challenging task. In this talk, I will present the latest results of our endeavor towards fully autonomous compact flocks of MAVs with onboard artificial intelligence, which was achieved by the Multi-robot Systems group at the Czech Technical University in Prague together with Vijay Kumar Lab at the University of Pennsylvania.
    Stabilization, control, and motion planning techniques for steering swarms and formations of unmanned MAVs will be discussed. I shall focus on biologically inspired techniques that integrate swarming abilities of individual particles with a Model Predictive Control (MPC) methodology respecting the fast dynamics of unmanned quadrotors. Besides the basic principles of formation flying and swarm stabilization, examples of real-world applications of the introduced methods will be shown in complex indoor and outdoor experiments. I will be talking about using MAVs for indoor documentation of large historical objects (cathedrals) by formations of cooperating MAVs, where one MAV carries a camera and its neighbors carry light sources with the possibility to set a relative angle between the camera axis and the lights as required. A cooperative manipulation of large objects by a pair of MAVs developed for the international MBZIRC competition and inspection of underground mines for DARPA competition will be presented. And finally, a fully autonomous flying robot, hunting for unauthorized drones will be shown.

    Bio: Martin Saska received his MSc. degree at the Czech Technical University in Prague, 2005, and his Ph.D. degree at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, within the PhD program of the Elite Network of Bavaria, 2009. Since 2009 he has been a research fellow at the Czech Technical University in Prague, where he founded and heads the Multi-robot Systems group ( and co-founded the Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems ( He was a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 2008, and at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, where he worked in the GRASP lab.

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