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ETH Zurich

by   -   August 24, 2016
T=0h. Autonomous (hand-) launch.
T=0h. Autonomous (hand-) launch.

One year after having demonstrated the 81-hour continuous solar-powered flight that is still the current world record in flight endurance for all aircrafts < 50kg total mass, the AtlantikSolar UAV has completed its next milestone by demonstrating the first-ever fully autonomous (from launch to landing) solar-powered perpetual flight with significant payload (Color + Thermal Camera) in a 26-hour Search-and-Rescue (SaR) mission.

by   -   August 9, 2016
The Flying Ring in action. Source: Rajan Gill/YouTube
The Flying Ring in action. Source: Rajan Gill/YouTube

The Flying Ring is a new flying vehicle being developed at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich. The goal of the project is to fully characterize all aerodynamic properties of the vehicle. While traditional quadcopters are agile and carry high payloads they are not efficient in forward flight, with traditional lift to drag ratios comparable to a fruit fly. The Flying Ring vehicle, however, can fly on its side, allowing the blades to propel it forward faster than a typical quadcopter.

by ,   -   July 29, 2016
Photo: Cirque du Soleil - PARAMOUR on Broadway - at the Lyric Theatre. Featuring Flying Machine Design and Choreography by Verity Studios. Pictured: Ruby Lewis as 'Indigo' Ryan Vona as 'Joey'. ©, Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo by: Richard Termine
Photo: Cirque du Soleil – PARAMOUR on Broadway – at the Lyric Theatre. Featuring Flying Machine Design and Choreography by Verity Studios. Pictured: Ruby Lewis as ‘Indigo’ Ryan Vona as ‘Joey’. ©, Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo by: Richard Termine

Since April, a troupe of eight flying machines has been performing in a Cirque du Soleil Broadway show called Paramour. This group of quadcopters has now completed its first 100 shows in front of a live theater audience, without a single incident. Given the string of recent safety incidents with drones (there’s more), this begs the question: How was this accomplished?

by   -   July 28, 2016
Image credit: Robin Ritz
Source: Robin Ritz, Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich.

The IDSC Tailsitter has been designed at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich, as a testbed for novel control algorithms for tailsitter vehicles. The goal of the project is to develop controllers that enable agile and robust flight for all flight regimes, such that the full potential of these vehicles can be exploited.

by ,   -   May 23, 2016


Autonomous exploration of unknown environments corresponds to a critical ability and a major challenge for aerial robots. In many cases, we would like to rely on the ability of an intelligent flying system to completely and efficiently explore the previously unknown world and derive a consistent map of it. On top of this basic skill, one can then work on several tasks such as infrastructure inspection, hazard detection, and more.

by   -   May 4, 2016

The euRathlon/TRADR Summer School on Heterogeneity in Robotics Systems is designed as a five-day course to provide participants with both theoretical and practical insight in multi-domain real robotic systems for deployment in disaster response scenarios. Focus will be specifically on multi-modal heterogeneous mapping, semantic analysis and reasoning and (collaborative) planning under uncertainty. The summer school will take place from 22-26 August 2016 in Oulu, Finland.

The Monospinner, developed at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich, is the mechanically simplest, controllable, flying machine in existence. It has only one moving part (the rotating propeller), but can still fully control its position in space. The vehicle features no additional actuators or aerodynamic surfaces.

by   -   April 14, 2016

Kickstart-programThe Kickstart Accelerator program in Switzerland is currently accepting applications from early-stage startups making “smart and connected machines”, namely robots.

by   -   April 1, 2016

The last place you might expect to find drones and rovers is checking up on a corn field, but they could soon join tractors and ploughs on a farmer’s list of must-have agricultural tools, thanks to their potential to reduce pesticide use and increase the amount of crops that can be grown.

by   -   March 23, 2016

roscon_hamburg_CropROSCon is an annual conference focused on ROS, the Robot Operating System. Every year, hundreds of ROS developers of all skill levels and backgrounds, from industry to academia, come together to teach, learn, and show off their latest projects. ROSCon 2015 was held in Hamburg, Germany.

Here is the next set of posts from the OSRF blog, along with videos.

by   -   March 11, 2016

cybathlonOn Saturday, 8 October 2016 ETH Zurich is organising the very first Cybathlon at the SWISS Arena in Kloten, Switzerland.  Individuals with physical disabilities will compete side by side in six demanding disciplines, using the latest assistive technologies, and now tickets are available to buy.

by   -   March 8, 2016
Source: ADRLabETH/youtube
Hardware experiments on motion planning for the the ballbot Rezero using direct transcription. Source: ADRLab ETH/youtube

When you walk across a room or down a path, your brain is making thousands of decisions on how best to move. For example, how best to use your weight, scanning for any obstacles or uneven surfaces, and how rigid (or soft) your limbs and joints should be. Teaching a robot to conduct the same decision-making process is ongoing in robotics, and a team from ADRL, ETH Zurich and NCCR Robotics is studying existing direct transcription methods for trajectory optimization applied to robot motion planning.

by   -   March 7, 2016
 Photo source: 2016 NYCDFF
Welby Altidor, Executive Creative Director of Creation, Cirque du Soleil (L) and Benjamin Dupont (R). Source: 2016 NYCDFF

SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters won the 2016 New York City Drone Film Festival (NYCDFF) Featuring Drones category.

NYCDFF is the world’s first event exclusively dedicated to celebrating the art of drone cinematography. The festival offers an international platform for filmmakers from every corner of the globe to exhibit their work in front of industry professionals and the drone cinema fan community. 

by   -   February 25, 2016
photo source: ETH Zurich, RSL
ANYmal walking. photo source: ETH Zurich, RSL

ANYmal is a quadrupedal robot designed for autonomous operation in difficult terrains. It is capable of running and climbing, and with its incorporated laser sensors and cameras, the robot can perceive its environment to continuously create maps and accurately localize.

by   -   February 22, 2016

Last week Raffaello D’Andrea, professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and founder of Verity Studios, demonstrated a whole series of novel flying machines live on stage at TED2016: From a novel Tail-Sitter (a small, fixed-wing aircraft that can optimally recover a stable flight position after a disturbance and smoothly transition from hover into forward flight and back), to the “Monospinner” (the world’s mechanically simplest flying machine, with only a single moving part), to the “Omnicopter” (the world’s first flying machine that can move into any direction independent of its orientation and its rotation), to a novel fully redundant quadrocopter (the world’s first, consisting of two separate two-propeller flying machines), to a synthetic swarm (33 flying machines swarming above the audience).

Grishin Robotics
November 2, 2012

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