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Soft Aerial Robotics for Digital Infrastructure Systems

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Future infrastructure systems will evolve into complex ecosystems where autonomous aerial, aquatic and ground-based robots will coexist with people and cooperate in symbiosis. To create this human-robot ecosystem, robots will need to respond more flexibly, robustly and efficiently than they do today. They will need to be designed with the ability to move safely close to humans and in contact with infrastructure elements to perform sensing and intervention tasks. Their behaviours will need to be carefully orchestrated to integrate smoothly into the environment and in industry 4.0 workflows. Taking inspiration from natural systems, aerial robotic systems can integrate multi-functional morphology, new materials, energy-efficient locomotion principles and advanced perception abilities that will allow them to successfully operate and cooperate in these complex and dynamic environments. This talk will describe design principles and technologies for the development of biologically inspired flying robots with adaptive morphology that can perform monitoring and manufacturing tasks for infrastructure and building systems. Examples will include flying robots with perching and aerial sensor-placement abilities, aerial-aquatic drones, drones with compliant landing systems for landing on autonomous cars, drones for aerial construction and repair, and origami-based drones for safe interactions with infrastructure elements.

This talk is part of the Robotics Seminar Series series.

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