Skip Navigation | ANU Home | Search ANU

Open problems and challenges in aerial robotics

Morning Workshop in

2012 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference


Organised by
Prof. Robert MAHONY, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Prof. Peter CORKE, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


Overview: Aerial robotics is a growing field with tremendous civil and military applications.  Applications include surveying and maintenance, aerial manipulation, search and rescue, and surveillance.  The field is one of the most active areas of robotics research in the world at the moment.  The commercial environment, with many dynamic start-up companies and new products appearing almost monthly, is similar to the sort of commercial environment seen for manipulator arms in the seventies and wheeled vehicles in the nineties.   The quadrotor platform looks set to play a role similar to that played by the unicycle mobile robot in the nineties, or anthropomorphic robotic manipulator in the seventies and eighties.  Such platforms are cheap, becoming better supported, and can be flown in indoor research laboratories around the world.  The robotics community is well placed to play a key role in the development of aerial robotic applications will in turn benefit both financially and scientifically from commercial interactions.

The challenges associated with tackling robotics tasks in complex, three-dimensional, indoor and outdoor environments brings into focus some of the limitations of accepted solutions to classical robotics problems in sensing, planning, localisation and mapping. Moreover, the fundamental weight and size limitations of flying vehicles pose challenges in engineering design as well as efficiency of sensing paradigms and control and estimation algorithms.

This workshop will focus on “robotics problems” in the deployment of aerial vehicles.   In particular, the workshop will consider questions of perception, manoeuvrability, autonomy, and physical interaction for aerial robotic vehicles. 

The workshop will feature presentations by key researchers in Europe, America and Australasia that provide a perspective on the most challenging problems that are being considered at the moment in their geographical regions.  In addition, there will be significant time set aside for interactive discussion with opportunity for significant input from the audience to determine the key technological and scientific problems for aerial vehicles that face the robotics community.


Proposed timetable


To be announced

Triumphs and Challenges for aerial robotics in America


Vijay Kumar

Interactive session on open problems in manoeuvrability and physical interaction for aerial vehicles


Morning Tea

informal discussion


Robert Mahony

Triumphs and Challenges for aerial robotics in Australasia


Peter Corke

Interactive session on open problems in Perception for aerial vehicles


Davide Scarramuza

Triumphs and Challenges for aerial robotics Europe


Roland Seigwart

Interactive session on open problems in autonomy for aerial vehicles