Seminar of Antonio Franchi (LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse)


Antonio Franchi (CNRS researcher at LAAS-CNRS) is a leading expert in the field of Aerial Physical Interaction (how to have drones physically interacting with the environment for construction/assembly tasks, etc.).

Antonio will give a talk on December 10th at 14:00 in Salle Minquiers.

Title: Aerial Robotics: Design, Control and Planning for Enabling Physical Interactive Tasks

Physical interactive tasks have often been kept far from the conception and development of robotic flying systems. In recent times a few groups in the world started to perform a research which aims at elevating aerial vehicles from the condition of pure observers to the one of fully-mature robotic actors able to help humans in manipulating and operating in places that are hardly accessible with other type robots.

In this seminar I will present, from an application driven perspective, the main technical and theoretical challenges of this field.
I will then present the recent results of our group at LAAS-CNRS in the design of flying machines that are the most suited for aerial physical interaction such as multi-directional thrust vehicles and illustrate the novel concept of flying companion and MAGMaS systems, where one or more aerial robots collaborate with ground robots in order to co-manipulate long objects. I  will then show how the control of physical interaction can be used to achieve capabilities that are otherwise impossible to standard (contact-free) aerial vehicles, such as stable landing on inclined surfaces, and 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 directions in this exciting domain of robotics.


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, and the scientific leader of the group ‘Autonomous Robotics and Human-Machine Systems’.

He received the HDR (French Professorial Habilitation) from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, the Ph.D. degree in Control and System Theory 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 110 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 Exploration.

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 2019), IEEE/RSJ IROS (2014 to 2018) 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 project.

He is a co-chair of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Multi-Robot systems, which he co-founded in 2014, and was the recipient of the IEEE RAS most active TC award 2018.

He co-funded and was the program co-chair of the IEEE-sponsored International Symposium on Multi-robot and Multi-agent Systems (MRS 2017).


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