This year we will co-organize the ICRA2021 workshop on “Resilient and Long-Term Autonomy for Aerial Robotics Systems”. All the info below.


This workshop will be devoted to analyzing two main challenges related to aerial robotics: their resilience and the ability to perform long term missions. Resilience is related to the ability of the system to provide some degree of redundancy, robustness and resourcefulness. The performance in prolonged missions is considered as a property of the aerial robotic system, eventually including multiple robots. The key domains of discussion are: Navigation and physical interaction with constraints in energy, time of flight, and range; Resilience in terms of perception, navigation and control; Reconfigurable aerial robots; and Systems with multiple aerial robots to enhance redundancy and resourcefulness and increase the mission endurance. Special attention will be devoted to challenges of field experimentation, particularly when involving large-scale deployments. Furthermore, the workshop includes an industrial forum with the participation of relevant industries outlining cutting-edge developments in commercialized robotic technology, and two panels two discuss with attendants two relevant new topics: Metrics and bioinspired aerial robots.

Speakers and Tentative Schedule

Section 1: Resilient Aerial Physical Interaction 
Chair: Anibal Ollero

  1. Roland Siegwart, “Aerial interaction – the next revolution in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)”, ETH Zurich
  2. Hyoun Jim Kin, “Safe real-time trajectory planning for interactive tasks”, Seoul National University
  3. Antonio Franchi, “Attain Multirotor Failure Robustness and Energy Efficiency through Structural Morphing Design”, University of Twente
  4. Guillermo Heredia, “Resilience and accuracy in infrastructure contact inspection with aerial robots”, Universidad de Sevilla

Panel Discussion

Section 2: Perception and Long-Term Autonomy
Chair: Ivana Palunko

  1. Davide Scaramuzza, “Failsafe Autonomous Drones: challenges and the road ahead”, University of Zurich
  2. Martin Saska, “Indoor and Outdoor Long-term Inspection and Documentation by Teams of Cooperating Aerial Robots”, CTU
  3. Stjepan Bogdan, “The flying Cartographer: Using a graph SLAM method for a long-term UAV navigation, UNIZG-FER
  4. Vijay Kumar, Title pending, University of Pennsylvania

Panel Discussion

Section 3: Contributed Extended Abstracts
Chair: Giuseppe Loianno

Section 4: Metrics
Chair: Kimon Valavanis

  1. Introduction

Panel Discussion

Section 5: Bioinspired Aerial Robots
Chair: Begoña Arrue

  1. Introduction

Panel Discussion

Section 6: Robot Demonstrations
Chair: Kostas Alexis

Section 7: Industrial Forum
Chair: Shaojie Shen

  1. Industry Speakers

Panel Discussion

Call for Contributions

Submission link:

Following the growing interest and advancements in aerial robotics, we invite relevant contributions corresponding to any of the **Topics Of Interest** listed below. The accepted contributions will be featured as short talks alongside presentations by invited speakers and/or as posters at the interactive session. Eventually, all accepted contributions will be included in the online workshop’s proceedings.

We invite two types of contributions to be presented at the workshop:

  • Posters: submit a 1-page extended abstract to be considered for presentation at the interactive session, and/or
  • Short Papers: submit a manuscript of up to 3 pages to be considered for presentation as a short talk

A dual option (poster and short paper) is also possible, so interested authors only need to follow the instructions for Short Papers, but clearly state their desire to be considered for the dual option at submission.

Important Dates

Poster abstract and extended abstract/short paper submission: April 21 2021
Notification of acceptance: May 1 2021
Workshop: Workshop (full-day)


Recent years have seen tremendous progress in terms of design, navigation capabilities, manipulation, control, and autonomy of aerial robots. In these areas two major challenges that arise are the flight time and resilience: the ability of the system to provide some degree of redundancy, robustness and resourcefulness against undesired behaviors or external malicious events. While for large scale aerial systems, it is possible to design propulsion systems and multiple software/hardware mechanisms to ensure resilience, this is certainly challenging in the aerial robotics domain due to the small scale, size, and limited computation capabilities of these vehicles. On the energy side, lithium batteries are commonly used to power these systems and in most cases, limit the endurance to no more than 30 minutes. A possible solution for long-term autonomy has been to create recharging stations. However, these are cumbersome and do not have fast recharging capabilities. Another common approach is to fly at high speeds to accomplish as much as possible in the given time. Even this solution does not address the energy problem related to long-term autonomy operations. Similarly, in terms of resilient autonomy, many challenges remain, including, but not limited to, navigation in not only GPS-denied, but also visually-degraded environments, team operation, capacity for large-scale and long-term deployments where drifts and other sources of error accumulate and more. Long-term autonomy and resilience in aerial robotics have not been analyzed and discussed in a principled way yet. It is certainly difficult to have a taxonomy in this area since the problem can be approached in many different ways from mechanics, to multiple sensor systems, to enhanced computation and intelligent capabilities.

Topics of interest (indicative but not exclusive)

Bioinspired systems: We seek for works addressing flapping wing robots, perching, manipulation, wind energy harvesting and associated control and perception methods

Navigation with constraints in energy, time of flight, and range: We seek for contributions addressing the role of novel designs and associated algorithms.

Resilience in terms of perception, navigation and control: We seek for works addressing the role of multi-modal sensor fusion, robust control, planning and learning-based methods.

Long-term Autonomy: We seek for contributions addressing the challenges and solutions to the problem of large-scale field deployments.

Aerial robotic swarms: We seek for works that aim to enable enhanced team resilience through a system-of-systems approach and mosaic operations.

Reconfigurable aerial robots: We seek for contributions addressing the role of mechanical reconfiguration as opposed to monolithic designs and how advanced navigation algorithms can exploit it.

Field robotics and industry experience: We seek for works that identify challenges observed in field experimentation, calling for new fundamental contributions by the community.


  • Anibal Ollero, University of Seville, ETS Ingenieria, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092 Sevilla (Spain),,
  • Giuseppe Loianno, Agile Robotics and Perception Lab, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, 6 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA,,
  • Kimon Valavanis, University of Denver, Unmanned Systems Research Institute, University of Denver, 2155 E. Wesley Avenue, ECS 461 – Denver, CO 80210, USA.
  • Ivana Palunko, Laboratory for Inteligent Autonomous Systems, University of Dubrovnik, Croatia,
  • Kostas Alexis, Autonomous Robots Lab, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, O. S. Bragstads Plass 2D, 7034, Trondheim, Norway,,
  • Shaojie Shen, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,,