Robotics Seminar

  • Gates&Hillman Centers
  • Mauldin Auditorium 1305
  • Assistant Professor
  • Computer Science & Engineering Department
  • University of Nevada, Reno

Autonomous Exploration and Inspection using Aerial Robots

The capacity of aerial robots to autonomously explore, inspect and map their environment is key to many applications. This talk will overview and discuss a set of new -and in their majority open sourced and experimentally verified- sampling-based strategies that break new ground on how a robot can efficiently inspect a structure for which a prior model exists, how to explore unknown environments, and how to actively combine the planning and perception loops to achieve autonomous exploration with maintained levels of 3D mapping fidelity. In particular, we will detail recent developments in the field of active perception and belief-space planning for autonomous exploration. Finally, an overview of further research activities on aerial robotics, including solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles and aerial manipulators will be provided.

Kostas Alexis obtained his Ph.D. in the field of aerial robotics control and collaboration from the University of Patras, Greece in 2011. His Ph.D. research was supported by the Greek national-European Commission Excellence scholarship. After successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis, he was a awarded a Swiss Government fellowship and moved to Switzerland and ETH Zurich. From 2011 to June 2015 he held the position of senior researcher at the Autonomous Systems Lab, ETH Zurich, leading the lab efforts in the fields of control and path planning for advanced navigational and operational autonomy. His research interests lie in the fields of control, navigation, optimization and path-planning focusing on aerial robotic systems with multiple and hybrid configurations.

He is the author or co-author of more than 50 scientific publications and has received several best paper awards and distinctions, including the IET Control Theory & Applications Premium Award 2014. Furthermore, together with his collaborators, they have achieved world records in the field of solar-powered flight endurance. Kostas Alexis has participated in and organized several large-scale multi-million dollar research projects with broad international involvement and collaboration. In July 2015, Kostas moved to the University of Nevada, Reno with the goal to dedicate his efforts towards establishing true autonomy for aerial and other kinds of robotics.

Faculty Host: Sebastian Scherer

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