Anibal Ollero Baturone
▹Head of the Robotics Laboratory GRVC at the University of Seville
▹ Scientific Director of the Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC)
▹Jaume I award in New Technologies
▹National Spanish Research Award in Engineering
▹European Commission ICT Innovation Radar Award
Biography and achivements
Aníbal Ollero obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a PhD in Engineering with an honorary award from the University of Seville. He worked in an engineering department and was an assistant teacher at the University of Seville until 1980. He later became a full professor at the Spanish Universities of Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, Malaga and Seville. In Vigo he was associate teacher and, afterwards, he became Professor. He was also Director of the Department, Secretary and Vice-Director of Research at the School of Engineering. In Malaga he was Professor, Director of the School of Engineering and Head of three Departments.
He was also a ‘stagiere’ at the Laboratoire d’Analyse et d’Architecture des Systèmes (LAAS-CNRS) in Toulouse, France, in 1979, and visiting scientist (1990-1991) at the Robotics Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. Since December 1992 he has been Professor at the University of Seville, where he has been Vice-Director of the School of Engineering. He currently directs the GRVC with more than 75 members in the School of Engineering and in the Association for Industrial Research and Cooperation of Andalusia (AICIA). He is also currently Scientific Advisor of the Advanced Centre for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) with more than 70 members and has been Scientific Director of this Centre.
His research interests have focused on autonomous aerial systems, robotics and automation, presenting the results in more than 800 publications including journal articles (more than 240), book chapters (63) and conference proceedings. He is author or co-author of 10 books, including a book on computer control ‘Electronic World Award’, a book on robotics, the book ‘Intelligent Mobile Robot Navigation’ (Springer, 2005), a book on ‘Teleoperation and Telerobotics’ (Pearson- Prentice Hall, 2006) and a book on autonomous and distributed systems for vehicle and natural environment applications (2008). He has been the supervisor of 47 PhD Theses, which have received 10 awards, and been invited to deliver more than 150 plenary lectures and talks at congresses, courses and other events. In addition, he is editor or co-editor of 16 books, including Multiple Heterogeneous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Springer, 2007, translated into Chinese in 2012), with 9 Chapters being co-author of 6, and ‘Cooperating Objects and Wireless Sensor Networks’ (Hermes, 2007) with 6 Chapters being co-author of 3 Chapters. In August 2019 was published by Springer STAR the book Aerial Robotic Manipulation with 27 Chapters, co-edited with Prof. Siciliano, which is the first book on Research and Innovation in this growing area.
He has directed or participated in more than 170 research and development projects, including over 40 projects funded by the European Commission and others funded by the NASA, the Spanish National Research Programme and the Regional Research Programme, as well as a wide range of contracts with other institutions and companies. He has been coordinator of the successful European projects ‘Real-time coordination and control of multiple heterogeneous unmanned aerial vehicles’ (COMETS) in the 5th Framework Programme, with seven partners from five different countries. He has also coordinated the ‘Platform for Autonomous self-deploying and operation of Wireless sensor-actuator networks cooperating with AeRial objEcts’ (AWARE) in the 6th Framework Programme, with eight partners from five European countries. In the 7th Framework Programme he was the coordinator of the ‘Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly System’ (ARCAS) on aerial robotic manipulators for assembly applications, working with eight partners from five countries. The implementation of the project ‘Estimation and Control for Safe Wireless High Mobility Cooperative Industrial Systems’ (EC-SAFEMOBIL) on methods and technologies to increase safety in the operation of autonomous aerial systems, with nine partners from five different countries, can also be counted among his achievements, as well as the People (Marie Curie) Multi-UAV Cooperation for long endurance applications (MUAC-IREN). In the H2020 Programme he has been responsible for ‘Aerial Robotic system integrating multiple ARMS and advanced manipulation capabilities for inspection and maintenance’ (AEROARMS) with 10 partners from Spain, Germany, France and Switzerland. All these projects have ended with excellent results, becoming world’s first demonstrations of the new technology and receiving several awards. He has been associate coordinator of the Network of Excellence on Cooperating Objects (CONET) and of the FP7 integrated project ‘Platform for the deployment and operation of heterogeneous NETworked cooperating objects’ (PLANET).
To his credit, further achievements can also be noted; he was the Principal Investigator in the participation of the University of Seville in numerous projects including the H2020 MARINE-UAS Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems for Marine and Coastal Monitoring Innovative Training Networks (ITN-ETN), the AEROBI project (AErial RObotic System for In-Depth Bridge Inspection by Contact), TERRINET (The European Robotics Research Infrastructures Network), HYFLIERS (HYbrid FLying-rollIng with-snakE-aRm robot for contact inSpection) and RIMA, the Digital Innovation Hub on robotics for Inspection and Maintenance. In addition, he was co-leader of the EUROC 3 ARCOW Challenge on the application of aerial robotics for aircraft manufacturing, which was selected among the two finalists of Challenge 3, out of 34 participants in this Challenge. He also led the AL-ROBOTICS team that participated in the MBZIRC competition.
In 2018 he benefited from an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council with a budget of €2.5 million for the GRIFFIN project (General compliant aerial Robotic manipulation system Integrating Fixed and Flapping wings to INcrease range and safety). Since December 2019 he is the coordinator of the H2020 project AERIAL-CORE (AERIAL COgnitive integrated multi-task Robotic system with Extended operation range and safety), a joint work of important aerial robotics actors in Europe to develop an integrated aerial cognitive robotic system that will have unprecedented capabilities in the operational range and occupational safety of aerial work and the manipulation of objects in that environment. He has been General Coordinator of the Iberian Robotics team that won the Challenge 3 MBZIRC International Robotics Competition in February 2020. In addition, he has been principal investigator of more than 70 Spanish projects and is currently principal investigator of ARM-EXTEND on the application of hybrid air-ground robots for inspection and maintenance.
In the above and other projects he has developed methods, technologies and applications in unmanned aerial systems, robotics, control and autonomous systems in general, including:
- Methods and technologies for aerial robotics manipulation (AEROARMS, ARCAS and AEROMAIN), including the development in ARCAS of the first worldwide general purpose aerial robotics manipulators with 6 and 7 degrees of freedom robotic arms and with perception and planning functionalities, and first worldwide aerial robotic manipulator for industrial contact inspection.
- Methods for autonomous landing of rotary wing and fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles on mobile platforms, including the first landing withoud GPS by using a tether (EC-SAFEMOBIL).
- Methods and technologies for systems of multiple autonomous aerial vehicles including safety increasing and tracking of multiple mobile targets (EC-SAFEMOBIL), cooperation for long endurance missions (CLEAR), cooperation for marine and coastal applications (MARINE-UAS), cooperation of heterogeneous UAVs (COMETS) for detection and monitoring in forest fires applications.
- Systems for autonomous aerial vehicles including slung load transportation with one and several helicopters connected to the load (first worldwide demonstration in the AWARE project), new techniques for control and perception in aerial robotics, fault detection and reconfiguration, configuration changes, fault detection and reconfiguration, trajectory generation under uncertainty, safety and reliability (ROBAIR), interaction with the environment, and development of new vehicles with rotary wing and fixed wing.
- Self-deployment and reconfiguration with autonomous aerial systems of wireless sensors and actuator networks (AWARE), including new functionalities for detection, monitoring and tracking by integrating aerial and ground systems, and wireless sensor network technologies (AEROSENS).
- Cooperation of aerial and ground autonomous systems and robots (CROMAT).
- New control, perception (localization, mapping and tracking), planning and reactivity for robots.
- Development of prototypes of ground robots such as ROMEO 3R and 4R, AURORA and RAM.
- Guidance of autonomous vehicles including heavy vehicles at high speed such 16 Tons. trucks at 100 Km/h and 60 Tons dumpers at 40 Km/h, maneuvering of articulated vehicles.
- Network robot systems and applications in urban environments (URUS).
- Systems for autonomous forest fires detection and monitoring including infrared and visual cameras in ground and aerial systems and wireless sensor networks. .
- Systems for space applications including planning techniques for orbital systems (MINIMAN), teleoperation (Tribolab experiment) and exploration rovers.
- Systems for acuiculture applications including biomass estimation in marine cages by means of computer visión.
- Optimal multicriteria design of control systems, including fuzzy control systems, and methods for multicriteria analysis.
Furthermore, he has been the principal investigator in more than 50 contracts with industries, including recently AIRBUS GROUP, EADS, BOEING RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY EUROPE, NAVANTIA, INDRA, ITURRI and many others, transferring technologies to many companies and generating industrial products including automatic testing systems of the airplanes CN235, C295 and A400M (EADS-CASA, from 2000), flight management systems, navigation, guidance and control for unmanned aerial systems for several companies, automatic tracking and stabilisation systems using infrared and visual cameras, (Navantia 2002-2008), automatic control of fish farms (Acuinova, 1999-2001), robotic forestry machines (Servicios Forestales, 1999-2000), automatic forest fire detection systems with false alarm reduction (E.N. Bazán 1998-2000), automatic control of wind-turbine generators (Desarrollos Eólicos, 1998), and others.
Professor Ollero is a IEEE Fellow “for his contributions to the development and deployment of aerial robots“, co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Systems, that was awarded as the RAS most active TC. Furthermore, he is Member of the Board of Directors of euRobotics (2015-2019), Coordinator of the Aerial Robotics Topic Group of euRobotics and president until November 2017 of the Spanish Society for Research and Development in Robotics (SEIDROB). He has been Member of the Scientific Council of CNRS (France), member of the European Robotics Network Board (2008-2010), Vice-Chair (2005-2008) of the Technical Board of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), Chair of the Coordinating Committee of ‘Mechatronics, Robotics and Components’ (2002-2005), Chair of the Coordinating Committee on ‘Manufacturing and Instrumentation’ (1999-2002), Chair of the Technical Committee on ‘Components and Instruments’ (1993-1999), and Chair of the Working Group on ‘Intelligent Components and Instruments’ (1991-1993).
Awards and distinctions
Thanks to the achievements during his career, Anibal Ollero won the 2021 National Reserach Award in Engineering and the 31st King Jaume I Award in New Technologies. The jury, which included 5 Nobel Laureates and personalities from companies and institutions awarded the leadership of Anibal Ollero in aerial robotics and highlighted the “invaluable ability to combine excellence in research and technological innovation with the transfer of technology to companies in the field of aerial robotics“.
He has received 28 awards, including:
- Spanish National Research Award in Engineering, Leonartdo Torres Quevedo (2021).
- Best Application Paper Award in IEEE IROS (2020).
- Andalucía Award to the development of the engineering (2020).
- Challenge 3 MBZIRC International Robotics Competition (2020).
- Rei Jaume I Award in New Technologies (2019).
- FAMA Award to research trajectory in Engineering and Architecture, University of Seville (2018).
- IEEE Fellow for contributions to the development and deployment of aerial robots, IEEE-ras (2018).
- Elected among the three European Innovators of the year 2017 and included among the European Personalities of the year 2017.
- Overall Winner of the Innovation Radar Prize 2017, DG Connect. European Commission between 25 finalists.
- First EU Drone Award, Best drone based application by the European Parliament (2017).
- Award of the IEEE RAS, as chair of the Most Active Technical Committee (ICRA 2016).
- Best IROS Jubilee Video Award finalist ’10 years in the Cooperation of Unmanned Aerial Systems’, to celebrate the 25th edition of IROS (1988-2012); Major achievement/ milestone in intelligent robotics and/or intelligent systems research in the last 25 years.
- EUROP-EURON Robotics Technology Transfer second award, the IV ‘Javier Benjumea Puigcervert Award’ by the scientific excellence and the scientific-technical and social interest of the work on ‘Autonomous distributed systems for applications in vehicles and natural environments’ (2010).
- Outstanding Service Award. International Federation of Automatic Control (2008).
- Award to the best idea on robotic manipulation. Spanish Inventors Club (2004).
- Mundo Electrónico Award to the best Spanish work in Electronics and Informatics.
He is associated editor of the Journal Field Robotics (Wiley), and member of the Executive Advisory Board of the Journal of Intelligent and Robotics Systems (Springer) . He has been member of the editorial committee of several Journals including Control Engineering Practice (1993-2005), IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics (1995-2008) and ‘Revista Iberoamericana de Automática e Informática’. Since 2022, Anibal Ollero is a member of the Royal Galician Academy of Science for his contribution to science and technology.
Other awards include best paper in several international and national conferences and the PhD award of the University of Seville. He is currently teaching Robotics, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Aerospace Robotics courses (undergraduate and Master/PhD levels) in curricula of Aerospace Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Engineering on Electronics, Robotics and Mechatronics.
Press and media
Anibal Ollero He has appeared in a large number of national and international press articles and features. Some of the most outstanding are:
Aníbal Ollero: ‘‘Nuestros pájaros robóticos se podrán comprar dentro de unos años en las tiendas’’ | Tecnología | EL PAÍS
Flapping-wing robot that can land autonomously like a bird
Uçan robot teknolojisi | Euronews
Aníbal Ollero, Premio Nacional de Investigación 2021 en Ingenierías
Aníbal Ollero, coordinador del proyecto Aeroarms en La tarde en 24 horas RTVE es
Un drone espagnol remporte le prix Radar de l’innovation 2017 | Euronews