Davide Scaramuzza

Towards Agile Flight of Vision-controlled Quadrocopters

Autonomous drones will soon play a major role in search-and-rescue and remote-inspection missions, where a fast response is crucial. They have the potential to navigate quickly through unstructured environments and fly through collapsed buildings. However, their speed and maneuverability are still far from those of birds. Indeed, agile navigation through unknown, indoor environments poses a number of challenges for robotics research in terms of perception, state estimation, planning, and control. In this talk, I will give an overview of my research activities on visual inertial navigation of quadrotors, from slow navigation (using standard frame-based cameras) to agile flight (using neuromoprhic, event-based cameras).

Davide Scaramuzza is Professor of Robotics at the University of Zurich, where he does research at the intersection of robotics, computer vision, and neuroscience. He did his PhD in robotics and computer Vision at ETH Zurich and a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2009 to 2012, he led the European project “sFly”, which introduced the world’s first autonomous navigation of micro drones in GPS-denied environments using vision as the main sensor modality. For his research contributions, he was awarded an SNSF-ERC Starting Grant, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Early Career Award, and a Google Research Award. He coauthored the book “Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots” (published by MIT Press) and more than 80 papers on robotics and perception. In 2015, he co-founded a startup dedicated to the commercialization of visual-inertial navigation solutions for mobile robots.

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