In this seminar I will give an overview of the recent activity of our group at
LAAS-CNRS on the design and control of aerial robots for physical interaction
Physical interaction is an aspect that for many years has been kept far from
conception and development of flying systems. Only in the recent years a new
wave of interest has moved several robotics research groups in the world to
consider this challenging and groundbreaking research topic, which aims at
elevating aerial vehicles from the condition of pure observers (or at most
simple 'transporters') to the one of fully-mature robotic actors able to help
humans in manipulating and easily operating in places that are hardly
with other type machines.
In this overview I will present, from an application driven perspective, them
main technical and theoretical challenges of this field.
I will then present our recent results in the design of flying machines that
the most suited for aerial physical interaction such as multi-directional
vehicles and illustrate the novel concept of flying companion and MAGMaS
systems, where one or more aerial robots collaborate with ground robots in
to co-manipulate long objects.
If time allows, I will also show how the control of physical interaction can
used to achieve capabilities that are otherwise impossible to standard
(contact-free) aerial vehicles, such as stable landing on inclined surfaces,
how a proper design of the aerial manipulator may greatly simplify the
end-effector nonlinear control problem.
I will conclude the seminar with some insights on current and future
in this exciting domain of robotic research in these days.
Antonio Franchi is a Permanent CNRS Researcher at LAAS-CNRS (RIS team).
From 2010 to 2013 he was a Research Scientist and then a Senior Research
Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany,
the scientific leader of the group ‘Autonomous Robotics and Human-Machine
He received the HDR (French Professorial Habilitation) from the National
Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, the Ph.D. degree in Control and System
and the Laurea (M.Sc.) degree in Electronic Engineering from the Sapienza
University of Rome, Italy. He was a visiting scholar at the University of
California at Santa Barbara.
His main research interests in robotics are motion control, estimation,
hardware design, and human-machine systems. His main areas of expertise are
aerial robotics and multi-robot systems. He published more than 90 papers in
international journals and conferences and in 2010 he was awarded with the
‘IEEE RAS ICYA Best Paper Award’ for one of his works on Multi-robot
He is a IEEE Senior Member and associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on
Robotics. He has been Associate Editor of the IEEE Robotics & Automation
Magazine (2013 to 2016), IEEE ICRA (2014 to 2018), IEEE/RSJ IROS (2014 to 2017)
and the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine (2015).
He is the PI of the MuRoPhen ANR JCJC project and the LAAS-CNRS PI of the EU
H2020 AEROARMS project. He has been involved in the past the EU FP7 ARCAS
He is a co-chair of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Multi-Robot systems,
which he co-founded in 2014.
He co-funded and is the program co-chair of the IEEE-sponsored International
Symposium on Multi-robot and Multi-agent Systems (MRS 2017).