GRIFFIN: General compliant aerial Robotic manipulation system Integrating Fixed and Flapping wings to Increase range and safety
ERC Advanced Grant 2018
The goal of GRIFFIN is the derivation of a unified framework with methods, tools and technologies for the development of flying robots with dexterous manipulation capabilities. The robots will be able to fly minimizing energy consumption, to perch on curved surfaces and to perform dexterous manipulation. Flying will be based on foldable wings with flapping capabilities. They will be able to safely operate in sites where rotorcrafts cannot do it and physically interact with people. Dexterous manipulation will be performed maintaining fixed contact with a surface, such as a pole or a pipe, by means of one or more limbs and manipulating with others overcoming the limitations of dexterous manipulation in free flying of existing aerial manipulators. Compliance will play an important role in these robots and in their flight and manipulation control methods. The control systems will be based on appropriate kinematic, dynamic and aerodynamic models. The GRIFFIN robots will have autonomous perception, reactivity and planning based on these models. They will be also able to associate with others to perform cooperative manipulation tasks. New software tools will be developed to facilitate the design and implementation of these complex robotic systems. Thus, configurations with different complexity could be derived depending on the requirements of flight endurance and manipulation tasks from simple grasping to more complex dexterous manipulation. The implementation will be based on additive and shape deposition manufacturing to fabricate multi-material parts and parts with embedded electronics and sensors. In GRIFFIN we will develop a small flapping wings proof of concept prototype which will be able to land autonomously on a small surface by using computer vision, a manipulation system with the body attached to a pole, and finally full size prototypes which will demonstrate flying, landing and manipulation, including cooperative manipulation, by maintaining the equilibrium.
AEROARMS: AErial RObotic system integrating multiple ARMS and advanced manipulation capabilities for inspection and maintenance
Funded under H2020-ICT-2014 call 1, Topic ICT-23-2014 Robotics
AEROARMS proposes the development of the first aerial robotic system with multiple arms and advanced manipulation capabilities to be applied in industrial inspection and maintenance (I&M). The objectives are:
- 1. R&D on aerial manipulation to perform I&M. This includes:
- 1.1 Based on previous partner results, developing systems which are able to grab and dock with one or more arms and perform dexterous accurate manipulation with another arm. Also develop helicopter-based aerial manipulators, with greater payload and flight endurance, and with a dexterous arm to provide advanced manipulation capabilities by means of force interactions and hand-eye coordination using a movable camera with another light arm
- 1.2 New methods and technologies for platforms which can fly and manipulate with the coordinated motion of the arms addressing constrained scenarios in which it is dangerous to use the helicopter and where it is not possible to grab to perform I&M operation.
- 2. Validation of 1.1 in two applications:
- 1) Installation and maintenance of permanent NDT sensors on remote components;
- 2) Deploy and maintain a mobile robotic system permanently installed on a remote structure.
To achieve the above objectives AEROARMS will develop the first aerial telemanipulation system with advanced haptic capabilities able to exert significant forces with an industrial robotic arm, as well as autonomous control, perception and planning capabilities. Special attention will be paid to the design and system development in order to receive future certification taking into account ATEX and RPAS regulations. AEROARMS is strongly related to ICT 23–2014: Robotics enabling the emergence of aerial robots, with manipulation capabilities to operate in industrial I&M, which will be validated in in oil and gas plants to reach TRL5.
The consortium combines excellent capabilities in aerial robotics with leadership in aerial manipulation and key partners for the successful application of I&M.
For more detailed and technical information, visit
HYFLIERS: HYbrid FLYing-rollIng with-Snake-aRm robot for contact inspection
Funded under Grant Agreement number: 779411 – HYFLIERS -H2020 – ICT
HYFLIERS is a research and innovation action of EU Horizon 2020 programme for advanced robot capabilities research. This project aims to develop the world’s first industrial integrated robot with hybrid air and ground mobility with a long-reach hyper-redundant manipulator capable of reaching sites potentially dangerous working conditions. The results target the thickness measurements for oil and gas refineries and chemical plants, and could be applied for many other robotic inspection technologies.
The objective is the UAS development for inspection measurements. In these kind of industries there is a risk of excesive pipe corrosion because of the degradation caused by exposure to the environment within the production process. This may lead to accidents as catastrophic failures with explosions and release of toxic products, so the inspection processes ensure that plants are in safe operating conditions and provide alerts to execute necessary corrective actions. But these inspections carry out a lot of risks because they’re executed on elevated locations with ladders, scaffolds, rope acesses or cranes. This is why, HYFLIERS project will aim to develop a robotic system to minimize these risks.
RIMA: Robotics Inspection and MAintenance
Funded under Grant Agreement Number: 824990 – H2020-EU.2.1.1. – INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP – Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) represents a huge economic activity (450 Bn€ market) spanning across sectors such as energy, transport, civil engineering. EU hosts over 50% of I&M robotics offer but there is a bottleneck connecting it to the market and high potential applications. RIMA is a 4-year project aiming to establish a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) on robotics sharing best practices and providing services to facilitate uptake of I&M technologies.
Our challenge is to reinforce this connection and to provide education and training on robotics I&M and to connect the value chain – research, technology companies, service providers, end users and investors- for accelerating economic growth in the field:
– RIMA is building upon the network pioneered by SPRINT Robotics extending it to all relevant sectors across the value chain.
Expected results are (i) increased competitiveness of EU I&M Robotics, (ii) economic added value by increased productivity and availability of the critical infrastructure (iii) social and environmental impact through improved safety and less emission of hazardous substances (iv) the constitution of a sustainable and scalable (open to new members) DIH network aligned with the industrial and European policies and ambitions
More information at our own RIMA project webpage
RESIST: RESilient transport InfraSTructure to extreme events
Funded under Gran Agreement Number: 769066 – H2020 – MG – 2017 – Two-Stages – RIA – Research and Innovation action
The overall goal of RESIST is to increase the resilience of seamless transport operation to natural and man-made extreme events, protect the users of the European transport infrastructure and provide optimal information to the operators and users of the transport infrastructure.
The project will address extreme events on critical structures, implemented in the case of bridges and tunnels attacked by all types of extreme physical, natural and man-made incidents, and cyber-attacks. The RESIST technology will be deployed and validated at 2 pilots in real conditions and infrastructures.
RESIST will use risk analyses and leverage and further develop recent exploitable research results in robotics, driving under panic, sensing and communications, to dramatically improve the speed and effectiveness, while reducing the cost, of structural vulnerability assessment, situation awareness, response operations and increased users’ protection under extreme events towards a high level of resilience of the transport infrastructure at 3 levels: a) increased physical resilience of bridges/tunnels by robotic inspection and predictive analytics; b) restoration of services/routes back to normal quickly and permission of a continuous flow of passengers and freight across different modes of transport soon after an extreme event, which will be achieved by rapid and accurate robotic damage assessment after extreme physical events, cyber security solutions, alternative secure and continuous communication under emergency operations (including integration of terrestrial and satellite systems) and increased cross-modal flexibility; c) clear and effective communication of transport operators and users, emergency responders and the public in the vicinity, to minimise the impact of the disruption on people and businesses, by exploiting real-time data, available networks, social media and mobile technologies to allow for real-time emergency information dissemination.
The goal of DURABLE is the increasing of renewable energies performance tasks through the validation and demonstration of aerial robotics technologies applied to the maintenance of solar and wind plants. The future application of these technologies may automate inspection tasks, and so as to reduce costs.
The project is funded under the INTERREG Atlantic Space programme through the European Regional Development Fund and has a budget of 3,9 M €. The project consortium is composed of 12 partners, divided into 7 universities and research centres, 2 clusters and 3 industrial partners. Spanish partners include institutions as University of Seville – GRVC, FADA-CATEC, CTA, Basque Energy Cluster, Alerion Technologies and Lortek S. Coop.
Funded under Gran Agreement Number: 783211 – H2020 – SESAR-2016-2 – SESAR-IA – Innovation action
The scope of the SAFEDRONE project is to acquire practical experience in Very Low Level (VLL) operations where general aviation, state aviation and optionally piloted aircrafts and drones will share the airspace. It is important to highlight that this project will have a clear practical focus which primary activities will be innovation, integration, and especially, demonstrating activities with flight tests.
The specific objectives of SAFEDRONE are the following:
1. Demonstrate how to integrate general aviation, state aviation, optionally piloted aircrafts and drones into non-segregated airspace in a multi-aircraft and manned flight environment, in order to explore the feasibility of U-Space vision by 2019.
2. Perform a large number of demonstrations in order to accumulate evidences and experience about the required services and procedures necessary to operate drones in a safe, efficient and secure way within U-Space.
3. Validate proof of concept implementations of a large variety of U-Space services and procedures.
4. Provide evidences to EASA and National Aviation Authorities to reinforce the safe integration of drones under U-Space for the different drone categories. Also, the lessons learnt and the technologies used during the project will be proposed to the different standardization bodies.
5. Coordination with the recently approved SESAR-RPAS projects in order to align the demonstrations with the CONOPS and technological developments of these projects.
6. Increase the awareness of the advances in U-Space within Europe through the dissemination of the obtained results.
Finally, SAFEDRONE consortium is formed by 2 private companies (INDRA and UNIFLY), 2 government-owned companies (IAI and ENAIRE), two aeronautical research centres (CATEC and CRIDA) and one university (University of Seville) obtaining a balance among accessing to novel technology, integration and operational experience, and orienting the demonstrations towards real market needs.
AeRoTwin: Twinning coordination action for spreading excellence in Aerial Robotics
Funded under Gran Agreement Number: 810321 – H2020 – Coordination and support action
The overarching goal of AeRoTwin is to decrease networking gaps and deficiencies between UNIZG-FER and internationally leading counterparts in EU, by significantly enhancing S&T capacity of LARICS at UNIZG-FER in the field of Aerial Robotics. Through carefully planned twinning actions, AeRoTwin will raise UNIZG-FER research profile as well as the research profile of its personnel. On the way to reach the main goal of the project, we plan to achieve the following Objectives:
Increase UNIZG-FER research excellence and innovation capacity in the field of aerial robotics, in the following Strategic Research Domains (SRDs): SRD1) Cooperative robotic missions, SRD2) Aerial robot navigation, and SRD3) Aerial robot configurability (explained in more details in section 1.3.2). This Objective will be achieved through:
- S&T knowledge transfer that will implement expert visits, short-term visits, joint summer schools and co-supervising PhD students
- hands-on experience that will implement on-site trainings
Enhance UNIZG-FER networking capacity and scientific visibility. This Objective will be achieved through:
- strengthening links to aerial robotics research community by conference attendance, special sessions organization, workshops and tutorials attendance, participation in joint EU and international projects and publication of joint journal papers,
- dissemination and outreach activities planned for the general public and school students
Improve UNIZG-FER quality of innovation management and technology transfer. This Objective will be achieved through:
- strengthening links to aerial robotics industry by participation at industry fairs and by collaboration agreements with businesses
- strengthening links to aerial robotics end users by implementation of end-user oriented workshops
- innovation management knowledge transfer by organization of innovation management trainings and technology transfer workshops
TerriNET: The European Robotics Research Infraestructure Network
Funded under Gran Agreement Number: 730994 – H2020 – INFRAIA – 2016 – 2017 – RIA
The need for a facilities network is the aftermath of the TerriNET’s creation. TerriNET is concerted between 16 universities and researching centres within the European Union. This project aims to enhance the robotics researchings. For that purpose, each member offers its platforms and facilities. Also, it is intended to create a new generation of researchers.
The objectives include the creation of a multidisplinar and trans-national environment for the trading of ideas for the robotics researching as well as to enable users their fully access to exploit their potential.
GAUSS: Galileo-Egnos as an Asset for UTM Safety and Security
Funded under Grant Agreement number: 776293 – GAUSS – H2020 -ICT
The objective of GAUSS project is the achievement of aceptable level in terms of performance, safety and security for bothc, current drone and future U-Space operations. The researchings will be focused on the consecution of precise and secure positioning to enable U-Space operation, supporting the management and coordination of all drones in the VLL airspace.
GAUSS involves seven partners as University of Seville, Everis, Institut de Robòtica, Aratos Systems and Cranfield University.
ARIESS: Augmented Reality and Indoor Navigation for Enhanced aSSembly
Funded under Grant Agreement number: 755490 – H2020-EU.220.127.116.11. -ITD Airframe
The General Objective of ARIESS is the introduction of cutting-edge Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) and the supporting infrastructure for indoor positioning and navigation, augmented reality techniques and real-time data integration to improve the productivity, competitiveness, and sustainability of a FAL, paving the way for the modern Industry 4.0.
The future of the aeronautical industry is tied inevitably to the development of enabling technologies that make it possible the coming of the Factory of the Future. Technology advances like those on Geoposition and Navigation, the Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual and Augmented reality (VR/AR), speech and handwriting recognition, biometrics, wearable technology, drones, etc. are being widely implanted in many industries. However, aircraft manufacturing has been traditionally reluctant to the introduction of technology leaps in the production process, even those considered game changers in other sectors. This is mainly due to the complexity and the strict safety assurance requirements involving the aeronautical sector but it is that here’s a tremendous bias against taking any sort of risks, and any innovation is seen as a risk in this industry. Therefore, any improvement must guarantee the highest quality and safety standards.
MULTIDRONE: MULTIple DRONE platform for media production
Funded under Grant Agreement number: 731667 – MULTIDRONE – H2020-ICT-2016-1
MULTIDRONE aims to develop an innovative, intelligent, multi-drone platform for media production to cover outdoor events, which are typically held over wide areas (at stadium/city level). The 4-10 drone team, to be managed by the production director and crew, will have: a) increased decisional autonomy, by minimizing production crew load and interventions and b) improved robustness, security and safety mechanisms (e.g., embedded flight regulation compliance, enhanced crowd avoidance, autonomous emergency landing, communications security), enabling it to carry out its mission even against adverse conditions or crew inaction and to handle emergencies. Such robustness is particularly important, as the drone team will operate close to crowds and/or may face environmental hazards (e.g., wind). Therefore, it must be contextually aware and adaptive, with increased perception of crowds and individual humans. Furthermore, as this multi-actor system will be heterogeneous, consisting of a) drones and b) the production director/crew, critical human-in-the-loop issues will be addressed to avoid decision errors or operator overload, towards maximizing shooting creativity and productivity, while minimizing production costs. The overall multiple drone system will be built to serve identified production (end user, i.e., broadcaster) needs. Namely, its innovative, safe and fast multiple drone audiovisual (AV) shooting will provide novel media production functionalities (e.g., production creativity towards rich media output, global event coverage, adaptation to event dynamics, high reaction speed to unexpected events). Both live (real-time) AV shooting and off-line productions will be considered.
MULTIDRONE involves 9 partners that include 3 leading broadcasters: DEUTSCHE WELLE (DE), RAI (IT), BBC (UK) and many other Research and Commercial partners: THALES (FR), AUTH (GR), UNIVESITY OF SEVILLA (ES), ALERION (FR), IST-ID (PT).
For more detailed and technical information, visit
ARCOW: Aerial Robot Co-Worker in Plant Servicing
Funded under Grant Agreement number: 608849 – EUROC: European Robotics Challenge -FP7-ICT
ARCOW is the framework project for the participation of GRVC group in EUROC. EUROC is a cascade-funding project that aims at boosting robotics development for European industries. EUROC is divided into three Challenges: (Challenge1) Reconfigurable Interactive Manufacturing Cell, (Challenge2) Shop Floor Logistics and Manipulation and (Challenge3) Plant Servicing and Inspection. The GRVC participates in EUROC Challenge3 with ARCOW.
The objective of ARCOW is to introduce aerial robots collaborating with humans in manufacturing processes in order to reduce their costs and making them more efficient. The project in within the EUROC Challenge3 and is coordinated by GRVC-USE.
Two main particular objectives are pursued. First, functionalities for aerial robots delivering light goods (small tools, bag of rivets, seals, etc.) to the different working stations while navigating within an aircraft manufacturing plant (a GPS-denied environment) will be developed. The second objective is the development of a low-cost localization system for costly tools or portable machinery into the plant in order to build an improved system for the identification and monitoring of goods that can cause Foreign Object Damage.
New functionalities for navigation of aerial robots in complex indoor environments will be vaidated including: new techniques for mapping and localization of aerial robots, global/local planning schemes for safe navigation in presence of humans, obstacle detection and avoidance, among others.
ARCOW involves 3 partners: GRVC-USE(ES), FADA-CATEC (ES) and AIRBUS D&S (ES).
For more detailed and technical information, visit
AEROBI: AErial RObotic System for In-Depth Bridge Inspection by Contact
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1; Call for proposal: H2020-ICT-2015; Topic(s): ICT-24-2015 – Robotics
The latest developments in low flying unmanned robots with arms and the associated fields of intelligent control, computer vision and sensors open the floor for robotic solutions, exploitable in the near term, in the field of inspection of difficult-toaccess areas of the civil infrastructure in general and bridges in particular. The latter infrastructure is ageing requiring inspection and assessment. Presently, bridge inspection is primarily done through visual observations by inspectors. It relies upon the inspector having access to bridge components via access equipment (ladders, rigging and scaffolds) and vehicular lifts (manlifts, bucket trucks and under-bridge inspection vehicles). This is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the inspectors, while it interferes with the traffic contributing to bottlenecks and congestion. The results of the inspection are used to structurally assess the bridge in a following step.
AEROBI, driven by the bridge inspection industry, adapts and integrates recent research results in low flying unmanned robots with arms, intelligent control in robotics, computer vision and sensing, in an innovative, integrated, low flying, robotic system with a specialised multi-joint arm that will scan concrete beams and piers in a bridge for potential cracks on the surface or concrete swelling or spalling. In case the width of the above cracks exceeds given limits, it will measure distance between parallel cracks, while it will contact the bridge to non-destructively measure the depth of cracks and deformation. In case of concrete swelling or spalling it will also contact the bridge to non-destructively measure delamination and the diameter of the reinforcing steel bars. The above will provide input for a structural bridge assessment that will be automatically performed by the proposed robotic system. The latter system, which is expected to be exploitable in the short term, will be field evaluated and demonstrated at two actual bridges.
For more detailed and technical information, visit
ARCAS: Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly System
Large Scale Integrating Project funded under FP7-ICT-2011 call 7, Topic ICT-2011.2.1 Cognitive Systems and Robotics
ARCAS (Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly System) is a RD project funded under FP7-ICT-2011 call. The ARCAS project proposes the development and experimental validation of the first cooperative free-flying robot system for assembly and structure construction. The detailed scientific and technological objectives are:
- New methods for motion control of a free-flying robot with mounted manipulator in contact with a grasped object as well as for coordinated control of multiple cooperating flying robots with manipulators in contact with the same object (e.g. for precise placement or joint manipulation)
- New flying robot perception methods to model, identify and recognize the scenario and to be used for the guidance in the assembly operation, including fast generation of 3D models, aerial 3D SLAM, 3D tracking and cooperative perception
- New methods for the cooperative assembly planning and structure construction by means of multiple flying robots with application to inspection and maintenance activities
- Strategies for operator assistance, including visual and force feedback, in manipulation tasks involving multiple cooperating flying robots
ARCAS will pave the way for a large number of applications including the building of platforms for evacuation of people or landing aircrafts, the inspection and maintenance of facilities, the construction of structures in inaccessible sites and the space applications.
The project will be implemented by a high-quality consortium whose partners have already demonstrated the cooperative transportation by aerial robots as well as high performance cooperative ground manipulation. The team has the ability to produce for the first time challenging technological demonstrations with a high potential for generation of industrial products upon project completion.
For more detailed and technical information, visit
EC-SAFEMOBIL: Estimation and Control for SAFE wireless high MOBILity cooperative industrial systems
FP7-ICT-288082, IP, Call FP7-ICT-2011-7, Challenge: 3, ICT 2011.3.3, New paradigms for embedded systems, monitoring and control towards complex systems engineering
Autonomous systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), can play an important role in many applications including disaster management, and the monitoring and measurement of events, such as the volcano ash cloud of April 2010. Currently, many missions cannot be accomplished or involve a high level of risk for the people involved (pilots and drivers), as unmanned vehicles are not available or not permitted. This also applies to search and rescue missions, particularly in stormy conditions, where pilots need to risk their lives. These missions could be performed or facilitated by using autonomous helicopters with accurate positioning and the ability to land on mobile platforms such as ship decks. These applications strongly depend on the UAV reliability to react in a predictable and controllable manner in spite of perturbations, such as wind gusts. On the other hand, the cooperation, coordination and traffic control of many mobile entities are relevant issues for applications such as automation of industrial warehousing, surveillance by using aerial and ground vehicles, and transportation systems. EC-SAFEMOBIL is devoted to the development of sufficiently accurate common motion estimation and control methods and technologies in order to reach levels of reliability and safety to facilitate unmanned vehicle deployment in a broad range of applications. It also includes the development of a secure architecture and the middleware to support the implementation. Two different kind of applications are included in the project:
- Very accurate coupled motion control of two mobile entities. The technologies will be demonstrated in two challenging applications dealing with the landing on mobile platforms and launching of unmanned aerial vehicles from a manned vehicle.
- Distributed safe reliable cooperation and coordination of many high mobility entities. The aim is to precisely control hundreds of entities efficiently and reliably and to certify developed techniques to support the exploitation of unmanned platforms in non-restricted areas. This development will be validated in two scenarios: industrial warehousing involving a large number of autonomous vehicles and surveillance also involving many mobile entities
MARINEUAS: Autonomous Aerial Systems for Marine and Coastal Monitoring
H2020 Marie Slodowska Curie – Innovative Training Network, 642153
MarineUAS is an EU-funded doctoral program to strategically strengthen research training on Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems for Marine and Coastal Monitoring. It is a comprehensive researcher training program across a range of partners in several countries designed to have high impact on the training of individual researchers and their knowledge, skills and their future careers. MarineUAS has established a unique cooperative environment. It takes benefit of the partners’ extensive and complementary knowledge, field operational experience, and experimental facilities.
Marine UAS will build a solid foundation for long-term European excellence and innovation in this field by sharing research infrastructures for field testing and disseminating the research and training outcomes and best practice of MarineUAS into the doctoral schools of the partners, as well as by fostering long-term partnerships and collaboration.
There area two Ph.D. fellowships at University of Seville:
- Multi-UAS planning and trajectory generation for safe long duration missions
- Distributed approaches for coverage and tracking missions with multiple heterogeneous UAVs for coastal areas
ROBRESENS: Robotics and Remote Sensing
The relations between robotics and energy for space and terrestrial applications are studied. The main objective of this study is, in general terms, the identification of technologies in different domains defined by the European Space Agency (ESA), that could be relevant for European space industry.
The AICIA participation in the project is focused on the robotics and remote sensing applications including both planetary and orbital robotics.
Funded by Abengoa Hidrógeno, S.A. and European Space Agency.
MUAC-IREN: Multi-UAV Cooperation for long endurance applications
FP7-PEOPLE, International Research Exchange Network
MUAC-IREN is an International Research Network devoted to the exchange of researchers between leading institutions in UAV technologies. It has the following objectives:
- Development of technologies that will help to create Long Endurance Multi-UAV applications, including control algorithms for the extension of the endurance of UAVs using wind energy.
- Development of control and estimation algorithms for all-weather UAV operations. This includes estimation and planning techniques to avoid weather hazards and control techniques to overcome extreme weather conditions.
- Development on new fully distributed methods for real-time cooperation of entities, involving fault adaptive reconfiguration of the trajectories for long endurance applications.
- Reinforce relations between the different research groups and exploit their synergies.
- Disseminate joint work internationally
- Knowledge transfer on long endurance multi-UAV applications.
This year, two members of the Robotics, Vision and Control Group (University of Seville) conducted two research stays at the University of Sydney (Australia).
FUNDED BY EUROPEAN COMISSION.
FROG: Fun Robotic Outdoor Guide
FP7-ICT-288235, STREP, FP7-ICT-2011-7, Challenge 2: Cognitive Systems and Robotics
FROG proposes to develop a guide robot with a winning personality and behaviors that will engage tourists in a fun exploration of outdoor attractions. The work encompasses innovation in the areas of vision-based detection, robotics design and navigation, human-robot interaction, affective computing, intelligent agent architecture and dependable autonomous outdoor robot operation. The FROG robots fun personality and social visitor-guide behaviors aim to enhance the user experience. FROGs behaviors will be designed based on the findings of systematic social behavioral studies of human interaction with robots. FROG adapts its behavior to the users through vision-based detection of human engagement and interest. Interactive augmented reality overlay capabilities in the body of the robot will enhance the visitors experience and increase knowledge transfer as information is offered through multi-sensory interaction. Gesture detection capabilities further allow the visitors to manipulate the augmented reality interface to explore specific interests. FROG plans to build a highly dependable robot that operates autonomously in populated outdoor real-world settings. New robust outdoor localization and navigation algorithms based on 6 DOF localization and SLAM will offer precise localization that is required for human-friendly navigation and optimal positioning of the robots augmented reality overlays. Moreover, robust, safety-critical, human-aware navigation algorithms will be developed, taking into account human interaction at all levels. The intelligent agent architecture is a platform that will allow the integration of low-level guidance and communication controls with high-level interaction generation including affective computing algorithms and contextual recognition. This approach will lead to the creation of a new generation of highly sophisticated autonomous outdoor robotic guide services
PLANET. PLAtform for the deployment and operation of heterogeneous NETworked cooperating objects
FP7, European Commission, ICT Programme. Contract: INFSO-ICT-257649
The goal is to provide an integrated planning and maintenance platform that enables the deployment, operation and maintenance of heterogeneous networked Cooperating Objects in an efficient way. The platform specifically focusses on large-scale systems composed of unmanned ground and aerial vehicles cooperating with wireless sensors and actuators.
PLANET addresses the design of the platform and algorithms required to support the deployment and maintenance of heterogeneous systems with mobile and static nodes. The most challenging algorithms that will form the core functionality of the PLANET platform are: optimal planning to achieve optimal coverage; network-centric sensing and actuation; cooperative transportation and retrieval of nodes; data muling techniques; secure, non-intrusive monitoring of the network for failures and possible threats. The PLANET platform will be validated in two very different scenarios: An environmental and wildlife monitoring application deployed in the Doñana Biological Reserve (Spain); and the management of a highly automated airfield.
The consortium includes Universität Duisburg-Essen (coordinator- Germany), FADA-CATEC (Spain), SELEX Galileo (UK), DLR (Germany), BR&TE (Spain), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Pisa (Italy), CSIC (Spain), Flying-Cam S.A. (Belgium), ETRA (Spain), SELEX SI (Italy) and AICIA (Spain).
More information on the PLANET project can be found at http://www.planet-ict.eu
CONET – NoE
CONET, the Cooperating Objects Network of Excellence, is a EU-funded project under ICT, FP7; starting date:1st of June 2008, duration: 4 years Keywords: Cooperating Objects, embedded systems , pervasive computing and wireless sensor networks
The vision of Cooperating Objects is relatively new and needs to be understood in more detail and extended with inputs from the relevant individual communities that compose it. This will enable us to better understand the impact on the research landscape and to steer the available resources in a meaningful way.
The main goal of CONET is to build a strong community in the area of Cooperating Objects capable of conducting the needed research to achieve the vision of Mark Weiser.
Therefore, the CONET Project Objectives are the following:
- Create a visible and integrated community of researchers on the topics related to Cooperating Objects capable of driving the domain in the coming years.
- Identify, arise awareness and steer academic research efforts towards industry-relevant issues without forgetting fundamental scientific issues; make the community more reactive to novel issues and approaches, and to coordinate its efforts; establish tight relationships with the European industry, leveraging interactions with leading US institutions in the field.
- Stimulate cooperation between researchers in order to achieve a lasting and sustainable architecture that is able to cope with the vision of Cooperating Objects.
For more information, see: http://www.cooperating-objects.eu/
Ubiquitous Networking Robotics in Urban Settings
European cities are becoming difficult places to live due to noise, pollution and security. Moreover, the average age of people living European cities is growing and in a short period of time there will be an important community of elderly people. City Halls are becoming conscious of this problem and are studying solutions, for example by reducing the free car circulation areas . Free car areas imply a revolution in the planning of urban settings, for example, by imposing new means for transportation of goods, security issues, etc. In this project we want to analyse and test the idea of incorporating a network of robots (robots, intelligent sensors, devices and communications) in order to improve life quality in such urban areas.
The URUS project will be focussed in designing a network of robots that in a cooperative way interact with human beings and the environment for tasks of assistance, transportation of goods, and surveillance in urban areas. Specifically, our objective is to design and develop a cognitive network robot architecture that integrates cooperating urban robots, intelligent sensors, intelligent devices and communications. Among the specific technology that will be developed in the project, there will be: navigation coordination; cooperative perception; cooperative map building; task negotiation; human robot interaction; and wireless communication strategies between users (mobile phones), the environment (cameras), and the robots. Moreover, in order to make easy the tasks in the urban environment, commercial platforms that have been specifically designed to navigate and assist humans in such urban settings will be given autonomous mobility capabilities. Proof-of concept tests of the systems developed will take place in a car free area of Barcelona. The initiative of this project comes from the European Group inside of the Research Atelier on Network Robot Systems (a European project) which is producing a Roadmap of Network Robots in Europe.
AWARE Project (IST-2006-33579)
Platform for Autonomous self-deploying and operation of Wireless sensor-actuator networks cooperating with AeRial objEcts
The general objective of the project is the design, development and experimentation of a platform providing the middleware and the functionalities required for the cooperation among aerial flying objects, i.e. autonomous helicopters, and a ground sensor-actuator wireless network, including mobile nodes carried by people and vehicles. The platform will enable the operation in sites with difficult access and without communication infrastructure. Then, the project considers the self-deploying of the network by means of autonomous helicopters with the ability to transport and deploy loads (communication equipment and nodes of the ground network).
Embedded Wisents: Cooperating Embedded Systems for Exploration and Control featuring Wireless Sensor Networks.
Coordination Action funded by the European Commission under the Information Society Technology (IST) priority within the 6th Framework Programme (FP6). The project addresses the strategic objective of “Embedded Systems”.
Embedded Wisents is a joint effort between twelve partners from ten different European countries. These partners have strong backgrounds in wireless communication and distributed computing as well as in embedded systems and cooperating objects in general. They have relevant expertise in ubiquitous communication, wireless sensor networks, distributed control, and cooperative autonomous systems in particular.
This project explores the commonalities and complementarities of embedded control systems for some physical process (machinery, automobiles, etc.), pervasive and ubiquitous computing, and wireless sensor networks. The important notions of control, heterogeneity, wireless communication, dynamics/ad hoc nature, and cost are examined.
The main objectives are: supporting the integration of existing research, road mapping for technology adoption, promoting excellence in teaching and training on systems of cooperating objects
AICIA leads the Workpackage Road Mapping and Technology Adoption. This Workpackage includes the development of four studies in selected areas: Applications and Application Scenarios, Paradigms for Algorithms and Interactions, Vertical Systems Functions, and System Architecture and Programming Models. The Workpackage also addresses visions for innovative applications, and the research Road Map preparation.
The partners of Embedded Wisents are: Technische Universität Berlin (coordinator), University of Cambridge, University of Copenhagen, Swedish Insitute of Computer Science, University Twente, Yeditepe University, Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per lInformatica, University of Padua, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, AICIA, Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique, and Universitat Stuttgart.
Embedded WiSeNts web page: http://www.embedded-wisents.org/
COMETS: Real-time coordination and control of multiple heterogeneous unmanned aerial vehicles.
Funded by the European Comission. V Framework Programme Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme. Participants in this projects are: AICIA-Universidad de Sevilla, España (Scientific and Technical Coordinator), GMV, S.A. España (Financial and Administrative Coordinator), LIU-Linkoping University (Sweden), HELIVISION (España), CNRS-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Francia), TUB-Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany), ADAI-Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal). Contract No. IST-2001-34304. 2002-2005.
The main objective of COMETS is to design and implement a distributed control system for cooperative detection and monitoring using heterogeneous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Particularly, both helicopters and airships will be included. In order to achieve this general objective, the project will design and implement a new control architecture, will develop new control techniques, and will integrate distributed sensing techniques and real-time image processing capabilities. In order to test and validate these concepts and systems, COMETS will demonstrate the system in forest fire applications. This is a very challenging mission in which the cooperation of the UAVs is very valuable.
The Workprogramme consist of 9 Workpackages: Management, Specifications, Architecture (design, development, communications, and interaction and cooperation paradigms), Central real-time coordination and control (mission planning, mission monitoring and control, real-time simulator, and teleoperation tools), Distributed reliable autonomous real-time control (helicopter upgrading and integration, airship upgrading and integration, fault detection and reliability tools, UAV control methods), Cooperative Environment Perception (detection and monitoring perception tools, cooperative terrain mapping), Testing and Validation, Field Experimentation and Demonstration (preparation and coordination, field experiments, post-experiment analysis), and Dissemination and Exploitation.
Special attention will be devoted to all the aspects related to reliability (architecture, communications, UAV fault detection techniques), and the exploitation of the characteristics of the multi UAV system.
The project methodology is based on the use of existing UAVs. Four partners have UAVs with different characteristics and three of them will be integrated in the system. A key aspect is the experimentation. That will include local UAV experiments and general forest fire experiments. An special site will be conditioned and additional means for data acquisition and verification will be deployed.
The expected results will be: a new system for cooperation and control of multiple UAVs, a decentralized control system with wireless communications in stringent real-time conditions, a new control architecture, new UAV control techniques, new perception methods, new techniques for environment monitoring and forest fire fighting.
For further information, reference to http://grvc.us.es/comets/.
Funded by the European Commission. V Framework Programme. Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development. Contract Nº EVG1-CT-2001-00043. 2002-2005
SPREAD provides a framework for the development and implementation of an integrated forest fire management system for Europe. It will develop an end-to-end solution with inputs from Earth observation and meteorological data, information on the human dimension of fire risk, and assimilation of these data in fire prevention and fire behaviour models.
It will provide new tools for fire management, in close collaboration with regional and national forest agencies, and new approaches to post-fire landscape management.
The role of our group is the development of vision-based functions for fire detection and monitoring, using visual and infrared images gathered by fixed and aerial cameras.
“A image taken from a helicopter during the controlled fire experiments”
The group will integrate a previously developed detection system to forest fire fighting activities; new image processing functions to determine fire characteristics (such as the flame geometry or the smoke plume configuration) will be developed; integration of the previous tools with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for fire control improvement. Also, a novel automatic system to assess the fire fighting means to be sent for the fire initial attack (very important for fire fighting) will be developed.
“A screen view of the fore monitoring tool”
Participants in this project : ADAI – University of Coimbra – Portugal (Coordinator), Algosystems S.A. (Greece), CEREN (France), UALH – University of Alcalá de Henares (Spain), CEAM – Center of Environmental Studies of The Mediterranean (Spain), University of Castilla la Mancha (Spain), University of Torino (Italy), COMC – Commission of the European Communities (Brussels), ENSMP – École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (France), CGREF – Centre National du Machinisme Agricole (France), ARMINES – Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Méthodes et Processus Industriels (France), UZUR – Universitaet Zuerich (Suitzerland), CNRS-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), UAVR- University of Aveiro, (Portugal), AICIA – University of Seville (Spain), FFRI – The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Finland), MGP – Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Wissenschaften e.F. (Germany) and CFSCA – Canadian Forest Service – Natural Resources Canada (Canada).
For further information, reference to http://www.algosystems.gr/spread.
TELEAGRISOL: Remote experimentation of monitorization techniques through Internet with applications in Agriculture and solar energy.
Funded by European Commission. INOVAlgarve Programme. 2004-2005
The Teleagrisol project has three main goals:
To demonstrate the application of Internet for remote monitoring. To improve the application of plant growing models, through the real-time extraction of image features, for intelligent environmental control of greenhouses. Particularly, the goal is to obtain plant growing indices from digital images taken in the greenhouse.To develop methods for solar energy prediction based on the real-time feature extraction from sky images.
During 2004 the camera-based greenhouse monitoring system has been installed. Furthermore, two software applications have been developed. One of them is devoted to achieve the second project goal: the real-time extraction of plant features. Particularly, images of tomato plants captured in greenhouses are processed to obtain measurements of the vegetation index, plant height and number and size of fruits.
The second software application is related to the third project goal: the extraction of features from sky images. Particularly, a cloudiness index and an estimation of sky colour are computed.
The project participants are: Universidade do Algarve, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro and AICIA.
EURON II: European Robotics Research Network
Funded by the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) as part of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme on “Beyond Robotics”.
EURON II is a direct continuation of the original European Robotics Network (EURON) of the Fifth Framework Programme. It is a network of excellence under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6), funded as part of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme on “Beyond Robotics”.
EURON´s objective is to implement and maintain a Network of Excellence that allows coordination of research, teaching and education, academic-industry collaboration, and publications and conferences in the area of robotics throughout Europe. EURON will also provide a primary portal for information about European robotics to other interested parties, such as journalists, and roboticists outside Europe.
EURON is organised around a number of Key Areas: Research Coordination, Education and Training, Industrial Links and Dissemination.
Summer schools and a number of ad-hoc activities are organised each year with competitive calls for proposals during October and March. These are mostly related to: prospective research projects, research ateliers, and topical studies. Grants are available for all of these activities.
AICIA has been member of EURON from his constitution and has been coordinating the Field Robotics interest group.
Funded by the Comisión Europea. Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development. Contract nº EVG1-2001-00024. 2002-2006.
Eufirelab is a virtual laboratory for research and development activities related to forest fires. EUFIRELAB is intended to create an efficient Area of European Research in the environment of forest fires. Its goals are the improvement of science and technology in the field, and a fast and systematic transfer of knowledge to the final users.
EUFIRELAB is structured in units to improve the cooperation among Euro-Mediterranean research teams or groups; activate wide interchange of knowledge and know-how; develop concepts, languages and common approaches between teams; promote the common use of research facilities and/or technological developments.
EUFIRELAB is divided in research units that will develop common concepts, approaches and languages, and will elaborate common methods and research protocols and/or activities of technological development, integrating the different space scales and roles of the natural Euro-Mediterranean areas.
The group coordinates the unit devoted to measurement methods in forest fires, whose main goals are to elaborate common measurement methodologies and protocols, to develop specific tools easy to understand by the users. To improve the existing sensors and promote fire measurement in the visual and infrared spectra, EUFIRELAB will create a Center that will develop new instruments and will stimulate the dialog between researchers, engineers and technicians.
EURON: European Robotics Network
Funded by: European Commission. 5th Framework Programme. Directorate General Information Society DG INFOSO. Future and Emerging Technologies Programme.
EURON is a network of excellence in robotics, that is aimed at coordination and promotion of robotics research in Europe. The network is sponsored by the European Commission through the Future and Emerging technologies Programme.
The network members represent most of the major research groups in Europe and it also features a wide range of companies involved in robotics.
The network has a set of key areas related to research planning and coordination, education and training, publications and conferences, industrial links and international links.
EURON has several interest groups: Cooperative robotics, humanitarian demining, eduntainment, manipulation and grasping, multi-modal interaction, open-source robotics, skill learning, tele-robotics, manufacturing, sensor systems, mobile robots navigation, biomedical engineering and field robotics. AICIA researchers coordinate the Field Robotics Interest Group.
In the first year several seminaries and meetings, including a general meeting, have been organized. A draft of the European Robotics Research Roadmap has been prepared, and several education and training activities have been carried out.
DEDICS: Distributed Environmental Disaster Information and Control Systems.
Funded by the European Commission, DG XIII, Telematics Applications Program (Environment Sector), EN 1003. 1996-1998.
DEDICS is a telematic tool designed to facilitate environmental disasters management by providing users with a set of functions to support monitoring, control and decision. The current work concentrates on forest fire detection and fighting. A system for early detection of forest fire using several sources of information (thermal images, video images, meteorological data, GIS data) has been designed in Seville and is being integrated in a Telematic system with real time decision support tools to assist the operators in the forest fire fighting. The system will use Artificial Intelligent Techniques for false alarm reduction. Furthermore, the Spanish user requirements on communications, sensors and decision support systems have been studied.
Funded by the European Commission in the Fourth Framework Programme. Environment and Climate. DG XII. ENV4-CT98-0700. 1998-2000.
The partners of this project are ADAI-Universidade de Coimbra (Coordinator), AICIA (Spain), Algosystems (Greece), Agroselviter-University of Torino (Italia), Entente Interdepartamentale en vue de la Protection de la Foret contre l´Incendie (France), Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (Switzerland), Université d´Aix Marseille (France), Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (Spain), Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal) and University of Zurich (Switzerland).
The project is devoted to the forest fire research including information acquisition, modelling and information support tools for forest fire suppression and safety. In the last year of the project, AICIA´s main activities are related to the debugging of the developed methods and to the analysis and validation of the results that have been obtained in the previous years, using terrain maps to improve measurements precision.
Furthermore, the following methods have been developed: new techniques for smoke columns segmentation and localization, automatic umbralization of infrared images, and techniques for filtering the results of the analysis of the sequence of images to avoid the effect of vibrations and other perturbations in the measurement. At the same time, the fire monitoring tool have been updated to apply in real time these new techniques. New experiments have been carried out in Gestosa, near Coimbra (Portugal) in May 2001, using several cameras, visual and infra-red, at different locations (ground and helicopter with GPS) obtaining the measurements (flame properties: height, width; and rate of spread, etc) using computer vision techniques, autonomous geo-referencing and sensorial fusion information. Furthermore, the measurements are also used to build geometric 3D models of the fire front.
Screen of the real-time forest fire monitoring tool developed in the INFLAME Project: infrared image, visual images, 3D model, evolution of the most advanced point and evolution of the flame height.
Robot Inspection and Repairing ROSPIR.
Funded by the European Commission. 4th Framework Programme. CRAFT-BRITE. Contract No. BRST-CT97-0474. 1997-1998.
Design of new robotic devices and systems for inspection and repairing inside pipes. Analysis of existing devices for the applications in urban and industrial networks.
FAMIMO: Fuzzy Algorithms for Multi-Input Multi-Output processes
Funded by the European Commission, 4th Framework Programme, ESPRIT. LTR Project 21911. 1996-2000.
Partners: Université Libre de Bruxelles (Coordinator), AICIA-Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Delft University of Technology (The Netherland), Lund University of Technology (Sweden), Siemens Automotive (France) y Laboratoire d´Architecture et d´Analyse des Systemes-CNRS (Subcontractor, France).
Research in new techniques for the analysis and design of multivariable fuzzy control systems. The project concentrates on hybrid systems, predictive control systems and adaptive control systems. Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy models are used for identification and control. Several computer tools for the design of these multivariable control systems have been developed. Particularly the tool called FAST (Fuzzy Algorithm Stability Tool) has been designed in Seville. The project considers two control benchmarks: a direct injection engine and a waste water treatment plant. Furthermore, in Seville the results have been applied to the fuzzy control of autonomous vehicles.
Fuzzy Algorithm Stability Tool
Fuzzy Algorithms for Control (FALCON).
Funded by the European Communities (ESPRIT Programme). 1993-1995.
Methods for designing stable and robust fuzzy control loops. Application to mobile robot control.
Research and Technology Development for Planetary Rovers.
Funded by NASA/INTA Research in Planetary Robotics (1992-1995).
Project in the framework of planetary robotics included in the agreement on Space Activities (NASA/INTA protocols) between the United States of America and Spain. USA principal investigator: W. Whittaker.
This project was a cooperative research with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA). The activities were oriented to the development of planetary robotics and particularly to contribute to the Lunar Rover Program which was developed at the CMU. The objective was a moon excursion to perform a two year, one thousand kilometer traverse visiting the historic landing sites, performing lunar science and providing realistic experience of lunar exploration.