Imperial College London

DrMirkoKovac

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Reader in Aerial Robotics
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 5063m.kovac Website

 
 
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Location

 

326City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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35 results found

Sareh P, Chermprayong P, Emmanuelli M, Nadeem H, Kovac Met al., 2018, Rotorigami: A rotary origami protective system for robotic rotorcraft, Science Robotics, Vol: 3

Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Applications of aerial robots are progressively expanding into complex urban and natural environments. Despite remarkable advancements in the field, robotic rotorcraft is still drastically limited by the environment in which they operate. Obstacle detection and avoidance systems have functionality limitations and substantially add to the computational complexity of the onboard equipment of flying vehicles. Furthermore, they often cannot identify difficult-to-detect obstacles such as windows and wires. Robustness to physical contact with the environment is essential to mitigate these limitations and continue mission completion. However, many current mechanical impact protection concepts are either not sufficiently effective or too heavy and cumbersome, severely limiting the flight time and the capability of flying in constrained and narrow spaces. Therefore, novel impact protection systems are needed to enable flying robots to navigate in confined or heavily cluttered environments easily, safely, and efficiently while minimizing the performance penalty caused by the protection method. Here, we report the development of a protection system for robotic rotorcraft consisting of a free-to-spin circular protector that is able to decouple impact yawing moments from the vehicle, combined with a cyclic origami impact cushion capable of reducing the peak impact force experienced by the vehicle. Experimental results using a sensor-equipped miniature quadrotor demonstrated the impact resilience effectiveness of the Rotary Origami Protective System (Rotorigami) for a variety of collision scenarios. We anticipate this work to be a starting point for the exploitation of origami structures in the passive or active impact protection of robotic vehicles.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Jarvis R, Farinha A, Kovac M, Cegla Fet al., 2018, NDE sensor delivery using unmanned aerial vehicles, INSIGHT, Vol: 60, Pages: 463-467, ISSN: 1354-2575

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Goldberg B, Zufferey R, Doshi N, Helbling EF, Whittredge G, Kovac M, Wood RJet al., 2018, Power and Control Autonomy for High-Speed Locomotion With an Insect-Scale Legged Robot, IEEE ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LETTERS, Vol: 3, Pages: 987-993, ISSN: 2377-3766

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Tzoumanikas D, Li W, Grimm M, Zhang K, Kovac M, Leutenegger Set al., 2018, Fully autonomous micro air vehicle flight and landing on a moving target using visual–inertial estimation and model-predictive control, Journal of Field Robotics, ISSN: 1556-4959

© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) held in spring 2017 was a very successful competition well attended by teams from all over the world. One of the challenges (Challenge 1) required an aerial robot to detect, follow, and land on a moving target in a fully autonomous fashion. In this paper, we present the hardware components of the micro air vehicle (MAV) we built with off the self components alongside the designed algorithms that were developed for the purposes of the competition. We tackle the challenge of landing on a moving target by adopting a generic approach, rather than following one that is tailored to the MBZIRC Challenge 1 setup, enabling easy adaptation to a wider range of applications and targets, even indoors, since we do not rely on availability of global positioning system. We evaluate our system in an uncontrolled outdoor environment where our MAV successfully and consistently lands on a target moving at a speed of up to 5.0 m/s.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Zhang K, Chermprayong P, Tzoumanikas D, Li W, Grimm M, Smentoch M, Leutenegger S, Kovac Met al., 2018, Bioinspired design of a landing system with soft shock absorbers for autonomous aerial robots, Journal of Field Robotics, ISSN: 1556-4959

© 2018 Wiley Periodicals Inc. One of the main challenges for autonomous aerial robots is to land safely on a target position on varied surface structures in real-world applications. Most of current aerial robots (especially multirotors) use only rigid landing gears, which limit the adaptability to environments and can cause damage to the sensitive cameras and other electronics onboard. This paper presents a bioinpsired landing system for autonomous aerial robots, built on the inspire–abstract–implement design paradigm and an additive manufacturing process for soft thermoplastic materials. This novel landing system consists of 3D printable Sarrus shock absorbers and soft landing pads which are integrated with an one-degree-of-freedom actuation mechanism. Both designs of the Sarrus shock absorber and the soft landing pad are analyzed via finite element analysis, and are characterized with dynamic mechanical measurements. The landing system with 3D printed soft components is characterized by completing landing tests on flat, convex, and concave steel structures and grassy field in a total of 60 times at different speeds between 1 and 2 m/s. The adaptability and shock absorption capacity of the proposed landing system is then evaluated and benchmarked against rigid legs. It reveals that the system is able to adapt to varied surface structures and reduce impact force by 540N at maximum. The bioinspired landing strategy presented in this paper opens a promising avenue in Aerial Biorobotics, where a cross-disciplinary approach in vehicle control and navigation is combined with soft technologies, enabled with adaptive morphology.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Chen Y, Wang H, Helbling EF, Jafferis NT, Zufferey R, Ong A, Ma K, Gravish N, Chirarattananon P, Kovac M, Wood RJet al., 2017, A biologically inspired, flapping-wing, hybrid aerial-aquatic microrobot, SCIENCE ROBOTICS, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2470-9476

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sareh S, Althoefer K, Li M, Noh Y, Tramacere F, Sareh P, Mazzolai B, Kovac Met al., 2017, Anchoring like octopus: biologically inspired soft artificial sucker, JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1742-5689

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Tan YH, Siddall R, Kovac M, 2017, Efficient Aerial-Aquatic Locomotion With a Single Propulsion System, IEEE ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LETTERS, Vol: 2, Pages: 1304-1311, ISSN: 2377-3766

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sareh P, Kovac M, 2017, Robots, SCIENCE, Vol: 355, Pages: 1379-1379, ISSN: 0036-8075

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Siddall R, Kovac M, 2017, Fast Aquatic Escape With a Jet Thruster, IEEE-ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, Vol: 22, Pages: 217-226, ISSN: 1083-4435

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Siddall R, Ancel AO, Kovac M, 2017, Wind and water tunnel testing of a morphing aquatic micro air vehicle, INTERFACE FOCUS, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2042-8898

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Zhang K, Chermprayong P, Alhinai TM, Siddall R, Kovac Met al., 2017, SpiderMAV: Perching and Stabilizing Micro Aerial Vehicles with Bio-inspired Tensile Anchoring Systems, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 6849-6854, ISSN: 2153-0858

CONFERENCE PAPER

Floreano D, Zufferey J-C, Klaptocz A, Germann J, Kovac Met al., 2017, Aerial Locomotion in Cluttered Environments, 15th International Symposium of Robotics Research (ISRR), Publisher: SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, Pages: 21-39, ISSN: 1610-7438

CONFERENCE PAPER

Sareh S, Siddall R, Alhinai T, Kovac Met al., 2017, Bio-inspired Soft Aerial Robots: Adaptive Morphology for High-Performance Flight, Soft Robotics Week - Trends, Applications and Challenges, Publisher: SPRINGER INT PUBLISHING AG, Pages: 65-74, ISSN: 2195-3562

CONFERENCE PAPER

Kovac M, 2016, Learning from nature how to land aerial robots, SCIENCE, Vol: 352, Pages: 895-896, ISSN: 0036-8075

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Low KH, Hu T, Mohammed S, Tangorra J, Kovac Met al., 2015, Perspectives on biologically inspired hybrid and multi-modal locomotion PREFACE, BIOINSPIRATION & BIOMIMETICS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1748-3182

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Vidyasagar A, Zufferey J-C, Floreano D, Kovac Met al., 2015, Performance analysis of jump-gliding locomotion for miniature robotics, BIOINSPIRATION & BIOMIMETICS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1748-3182

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Siddall R, Kovac M, 2015, A Water Jet Thruster for an Aquatic Micro Air Vehicle, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Publisher: IEEE COMPUTER SOC, Pages: 3979-3985, ISSN: 1050-4729

CONFERENCE PAPER

Siddall R, Kovac M, 2014, Launching the AquaMAV: bioinspired design for aerial-aquatic robotic platforms, BIOINSPIRATION & BIOMIMETICS, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1748-3182

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Kovac M, 2014, The Bioinspiration Design Paradigm: A Perspective for Soft Robotics, SOFT ROBOTICS, Vol: 1, Pages: 28-37, ISSN: 2169-5172

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hunt G, Mitzalis F, Alhinai T, Hooper PA, Kovac Met al., 2014, 3D Printing with Flying Robots, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 4493-4499, ISSN: 1050-4729

CONFERENCE PAPER

Crall JD, Kovac M, Cornwall M, Wood RJ, Pierce NE, Combes SAet al., 2013, Shaping up: Aerodynamics and evolution of butterfly wing planform, Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Pages: E42-E42, ISSN: 1540-7063

CONFERENCE PAPER

Wen L, Lauder G, Weaver JC, Kovac M, Wood RJet al., 2013, Hydrodynamics of Self-propelling Flexible Synthetic Shark Skin Membranes, Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Pages: E223-E223, ISSN: 1540-7063

CONFERENCE PAPER

Kovac M, Vogt D, Ithier D, Smith MJ, Wood RJet al., 2012, Experimental flight performance evaluation of forewing orientation in butterflies, Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Pages: E96-E96, ISSN: 1540-7063

CONFERENCE PAPER

Kovac M, Vogt D, Ithier D, Smith M, Wood Ret al., 2012, Aerodynamic evaluation of four butterfly species for the design of flapping-gliding robotic insects, 25th IEEE\RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 1102-1109, ISSN: 2153-0858

CONFERENCE PAPER

Kovač M, Wassim-Hraiz, Fauria O, Zufferey JC, Floreano Det al., 2011, The EPFL jumpglider: A hybrid jumping and gliding robot with rigid or folding wings, Pages: 1503-1508

Recent work suggests that wings can be used to prolong the jumps of miniature jumping robots. However, no functional miniature jumping robot has been presented so far that can successfully apply this hybrid locomotion principle. In this publication, we present the development and characterization of the 'EPFL jumpglider', a miniature robot that can prolong its jumps using steered hybrid jumping and gliding locomotion over varied terrain. For example, it can safely descend from elevated positions such as stairs and buildings and propagate on ground with small jumps. The publication presents a systematic evaluation of three biologically inspired wing folding mechanisms and a rigid wing design. Based on this evaluation, two wing designs are implemented and compared 1. © 2011 IEEE.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Kovač M, Wassim-Hraiz, Fauria O, Zufferey JC, Floreano Det al., 2011, The locomotion capabilities of the EPFL jumpglider: A hybrid jumping and gliding robot, Pages: 2249-2250

Recent work suggests that wings can be used to prolong the jumps of miniature jumping robots. However, no functional miniature jumping robot has been presented so far that can successfully apply this hybrid locomotion principle. In this video publication, we present the locomotion capabilities of the 'EPFL jumpglider', a miniature robot that can prolong its jumps using steered hybrid jumping and gliding locomotion over varied terrain. For example, it can safely descend from elevated positions such as stairs and buildings and propagate on ground with small jumps. © 2011 IEEE.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Kovac M, Schlegel M, Zufferey J-C, Floreano Det al., 2010, Steerable miniature jumping robot, AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS, Vol: 28, Pages: 295-306, ISSN: 0929-5593

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Kovač M, Germann J, Hürzeler C, Siegwart RY, Floreano Det al., 2009, A perching mechanism for micro aerial vehicles, Journal of Micro-Nano Mechatronics, Vol: 5, Pages: 77-91, ISSN: 1865-3928

JOURNAL ARTICLE

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