Plenary talks

MMAR 2018 plenary lecture speakers: (details below)

Guido de Croon (Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Autonomous flight of flapping wing robots – the relation between body and mind

Stevan Dubljevic (Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, University of Alberta, Canada)

Zdzisław Kowalczuk (Department of Robotics and Decision Systems, Gdańsk Univeristy of Technology, Poland)

Autonomous flight of flapping wing robots – the relation between body and mind

Guido de Croon: Received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His research interest lies with computationally efficient algorithms for robot autonomy, with an emphasis on computer vision. Since 2008 he has worked on algorithms for achieving autonomous flight with small and light-weight flying robots, such as the DelFly flapping wing MAV. In 2011-2012, he was a research fellow in the Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency, where he studied topics such as optical flow based control algorithms for extraterrestrial landing scenarios. Currently, he is associate professor at TU Delft and scientific lead of the Micro Air Vehicle lab (MAV-lab) of Delft University of Technology.

Abstract: Tiny fruit flies are a great inspiration for autonomously flying robots. With a mere ~100,000 neurons they are able to fly, navigate, find food and shelter, and even socially interact with each other. In my presentation, I will talk about my dream to endow small flying robots with similar capabilities. Specifically, I will talk about the DelFly family of flapping wing robots, developed at TU Delft, and how the DelFly has “evolved” over the years from a purely telecommanded drone to the 20-gram fully autonomous DelFly Explorer. I will delve into the developments in hardware (the robot’s body) and into the Artificial Intelligence algorithms (the robot’s mind) that underly the success of the Explorer, arguing that for such small and light-weight flying robots, body and mind should be carefully designed together. I will also discuss the challenges ahead, i.e., how to make such light-weight drones work together in a swarm or how to navigate over longer distances.