Giuseppe Leads Robotics Conference in Hamburg, Germany on Autonomous Drones


The workshop on October 2nd includes presentations and live demos from the top drone leaders of the world -- from NASA, to Universities, and Industry. 


Autonomous micro Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs) start to play an important role in tasks like search and rescue, environment monitoring, security surveillance, transportation and inspection. However, to deal with such operations, GPS based navigation is not sufficient. Small scale size vehicles have to fast and autonomously navigate in narrow outdoor and indoor environments, in cities or other dense environments and able to actively explore unknown areas while avoiding collisions and creating maps. This involves a number of perception and control challenges that still have to be solved. This workshop will address UAVs navigation solutions in GPS denied environments and the algorithmic and software design challenges that arise in the settings of small-scale, fast navigation in three-dimensional environments.


This full-day workshop at IROS '15 brings together researchers from academia and industry in the area of closed-loop control and navigation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles working in indoor and outdoor GPS-denied environments, using passive vision sensors as the main sensory modality. The convergence of the consumer electronics industry and the robotics industry has opened up opportunities and solutions that did not exist a few years ago. The interest in this area of research is large and, as such, we expect to have an heterogeneours audience in terms of expertise and interests. While most previous workshops have attempted to address the fundamental problems of perception, control and communication for aerial vehicles, this workshop will instead focus on the systems challenges for small-scale, fast vehicles where the size, weight and payload constraints only allow light-weight sensors like cameras, and the operating conditions of high speeds require perception over longer ranges and shorter time scales.


Phlone Research featured on cover of IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine

June 2015 Cover Article in a Robotics & Automation Magazine - a leading trade publication.

June 2015 Cover Article in a Robotics & Automation Magazine - a leading trade publication.

Consumer-grade technology seen in cameras and phone has led to the price-performance ratio falling dramatically over the last decade. We are seeing a similar trend in robots that leverage this technology. A recent development interest is the interest of companies such as Google, Apple, and Qualcomm in high-end communication devices equipped with such sensors as cameras and inertial measurement units (IMUs) and with significant computational capability...


Demo at CES 2015 with Explanation from Dr. Kumar

This autonomous quadcopter uses a smartphone for autonomous flight, using only on-board hardware and vision algorithms, no GPS. Read more:

A Smartphone Is the Brain for This Autonomous Quadcopter

At CES 2015, we stopped by the Qualcomm booth to check out a collaborative project with University of Pennsylvania researchers led by Vijay Kumar: it’s a quadrotor that uses a smartphone for a brain for autonomous flight, using only on-board hardware and vision algorithms, no GPS. Impressive...


Autonomous Quadrotor Flight Based On Google's Project Tango

1. All computing is onboard, the laptop just does the visualization. 2. The only measurement from the tango is the pose at 30 Hz. The only other sensor is the IMU onboard the robot. 3. The laptop is used for specification of the task and for monitoring/visualization.

Tech Crunch: Google X Tango Flies Drone Around The Room

Giuseppe shows off some previous work with the Google Tango phone.

Giuseppe shows off some previous work with the Google Tango phone.

Remember Project Tango? Google’s crazy project to add 3D environment mapping abilities to a smartphone?

Yeah, someone just went ahead and took the next logical step: they plugged it into a drone.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania managed to get their hands on a prototype Tango device, and quickly strapped it into their self-built quadcopter.

This is probably a good place for a Skynet joke, but all I can see are Manhacks. Don’t forget your crowbar.....



TEDxPenn: Dr. Vijay Kumar discusses work from the GRASP Lab

What if there was a way for first responders to survey the scene inside a collapsed building without physically entering it first? What if there existed a technology that allowed farmers to increase their yield by optimizing each individual plant? A pioneer of multi-robot formation auto-control and coordination, Vijay Kumar shows us how his cutting-edge drone technology can better the world in the very near future.

Vijay Kumar's creative, algorithmic, and experimental work has transformed robotics. At the University of Pennsylvania'€™s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, he creates the next generation of robotic wonders. His flying robots can juggle, fly through hula-hoops, and most importantly work together. Passionate about sharing his knowledge with the world's innovators, he has authored more than 400 publications. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the IEEE Computer Society. Most recently, Vijay Kumar was named the Dean of The School of Engineering and Applied Science and is participating in large-scale National Science Foundation projects on cyber-physical systems with medical applications.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at