Design and Navigation of Running and Flying Robots
Robots are rapidly evolving from factory work-horses, which are physically bound to their work-cells, to increasingly complex machines capable of performing challenging tasks as search and rescuing, surveillance and inspections, planetary exploration or autonomous transportation of goods. This requires robots to operate in unstructured and unpredictable environments and various terrains. My talk will focus on design and navigation aspects of legged robots operating on the ground and small UAVs operating in the air. I will present systems developed in our lab at ETH and discuss current results and open challenges.
Key issues with the design of such systems are weight and energy considerations as well as autonomy with minimal sensing and calculation power. For our quadruped walker we are researching optimal ways for exploiting the natural dynamics of the system. With our micro-helicopters projects sFly, AIRobots and myCopter we approach autonomous flight and inspections in cluttered and very narrow indoor environments as well as GPS denied visual navigation in cities. And with the SenseSoar we develop a small fixed-wing airplane capable of staying in the air indefinitely due to its solar powered generator.
Further information: http://www.asl.ethz.ch/research/research