Imperial College London

ProfessorMirkoKovac

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Professor 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
to

115 results found

Dams B, Orr L, Kaya YF, Kocer BB, Shepherd P, Kovac M, Ball RJet al., 2024, Deposition dynamics and analysis of polyurethane foam structure boundaries for aerial additive manufacturing, Virtual and Physical Prototyping, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1745-2759

Journal article

Zhang K, Chermprayong P, Xiao F, Tzoumanikas D, Dams B, Kay S, Kocer BB, Burns A, Orr L, Alhinai T, Choi C, Darekar DD, Li W, Hirschmann S, Soana V, Ngah SA, Grillot C, Sareh S, Choubey A, Margheri L, Pawar VM, Ball RJ, Williams C, Shepherd P, Leutenegger S, Stuart-Smith R, Kovac Met al., 2024, Author Correction: Aerial additive manufacturing with multiple autonomous robots., Nature, Vol: 626

Journal article

Hausermann D, Bodry S, Wiesemuller F, Miriyev A, Siegrist S, Fu F, Gaan S, Koebel MM, Malfait WJ, Zhao S, Kovac Met al., 2023, FireDrone: multi-environment thermally agnostic aerial robot, Advanced Intelligent Systems, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2640-4567

Deploying robots in extreme environments reduces risks to human lives. However, robot operating conditions are often limited by environmental factors such as extreme temperatures encountered in fire disasters or polar regions. Especially drones face challenges in carrying thermal management systems protecting vital components, due to limited payload capacity compared to ground robots. Herein, a thermally agnostic aerial robot comprising structural thermally insulating material and a phase change material cooling system, inspired by natural thermal regulation principles, is designed, modelled and experimentally validated. Building on the robot development paradigm of physical artificial intelligence, the concurrent development of materials and design enables the creation of novel physiologically adaptive systems. Polyimide aerogel is applied as one of the main structural materials in the drone's design to adapt the robot's structure and properties to extreme temperatures. Glass fiber reinforcement with silica aerogel particles reduces high-temperature shrinkage and pore structure degradation after exposure to high temperatures and most of the composite aerogel features are preserved. A high technology-readiness-level drone prototype, allowing for operation in a broad range of ambient temperatures, is demonstrated. The proposed technology for thermally agnostic drones may unleash the great potential of aerial robotics in multiple industrial and research applications.

Journal article

Hauf F, Kocer BB, Slatter A, Nguyen H-N, Pang O, Clark R, Johns E, Kovac Met al., 2023, Learning tethered perching for aerial robots, 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 1298-1304

Aerial robots have a wide range of applications, such as collecting data in hard-to-reach areas. This requires the longest possible operation time. However, because currently available commercial batteries have limited specific energy of roughly 300 W h kg -1 , a drone's flight time is a bottleneck for sustainable long-term data collection. Inspired by birds in nature, a possible approach to tackle this challenge is to perch drones on trees, and environmental or man-made structures, to save energy whilst in operation. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to automatically generate trajectories for a drone to perch on a tree branch, using the proposed tethered perching mechanism with a pendulum-like structure. This enables a drone to perform an energy-optimised, controlled 180° flip to safely disarm upside down. To fine-tune a set of reachable trajectories, a soft actor critic-based reinforcement algorithm is used. Our experimental results show the feasibility of the set of trajectories with successful perching. Our findings demonstrate that the proposed approach enables energy-efficient landing for long-term data collection tasks.

Conference paper

Stedman H, Kocer BB, van Zalk N, Kovac M, Pawar VMet al., 2023, Evaluating immersive teleoperation interfaces: coordinating robot radiation monitoring tasks in nuclear facilities, 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 11972-11978

We present a virtual reality (VR) teleoperation interface for a ground-based robot, featuring dense 3D environment reconstruction and a low latency video stream, with which operators can immersively explore remote environments. At the UK Atomic Energy Authority's (UKAEA) Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) facility, we applied the interface in a user study where trained robotics operators completed simulated nuclear monitoring and decommissioning style tasks to compare VR and traditional teleoperation interface designs. We found that operators in the VR condition took longer to complete the experiment, had reduced collisions, and rated the generated 3D map with higher importance when compared to non-VR operators. Additional physiological data suggested that VR operators had a lower objective cognitive workload during the experiment but also experienced increased physical demand. Overall the presented results show that VR interfaces may benefit work patterns in teleoperation tasks within the nuclear industry, but further work is needed to investigate how such interfaces can be integrated into real world decommissioning workflows.

Conference paper

Wiesemuller F, Meyer S, Hu Y, Bachmann D, Parrilli A, Nyström G, Kovac Met al., 2023, Biopolymer cryogels for transient ecology-drones, Advanced Intelligent Systems, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2640-4567

Aerial robots can autonomously collect temporal and spatial high-resolution environmental data. This data can be utilized to develop mathematical ecology models to understand the impact of climate change on our habitat. In case of drone malfunction the incorporated materials can threaten vulnerable environments. The recent introduction of transient robotics has enabled the development of biodegradable, environmental-sensing drones capable of degrading in their environment. However, manufacturing methods for environmental-sensing transient drones are rarely discussed. In this work, we highlight a manufacturing framework and material selection process featuring biopolymer-based, high-strength composite cryogels and printed carbon-based electronics for transient drones. We found that gelatin and cellulose based cryogels mechanically outperform other biopolymer composites while having a homogeneous micro-structure and high stiffness-to-weight ratio. The selected materials are used to manufacture a flying-wing air-frame, while the incorporated sensing skin is capable of measuring the elevons' deflection angles as well as ambient temperature. Our results demonstrate how gelatin-cellulose cryogels can be used to manufacture lightweight transient drones, while printing carbon conductive electronics is a viable method for designing sustainable, integrated sensors. The proposed methods can be used to guide the development of lightweight and rapidly degrading robots, featuring eco-friendly sensing capabilities.

Journal article

Wiesemüller F, Meyer S, Hu Y, Bachmann D, Parrilli A, Nyström G, Kovač Met al., 2023, Biopolymer Cryogels for Transient Ecology‐Drones, Advanced Intelligent Systems, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2640-4567

Journal article

Awad H, Heggo M, Pang O, Kovac M, McCann Jet al., 2023, Multirotor motion enhancement using propeller speed measurements, The 2023 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 401-406

Multirotor autopilots often depend on open-loop control without the feedback of propeller speeds, although they are a critical factor in determining motion characteristics. This paper proposes a system that leverages actual propeller speeds as direct feedback to the autopilot to improve the state estimation and dynamics of the multirotor. Software-in-the-Loop (SITL) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HITL) simulations with real data, in different scenarios, are conducted to demonstrate the impact of combining propeller speeds with typical drone sensors. The results show that the drone becomes more stable with lower trajectory errors. Further, a noticeable reduction in the vehicle position median error while following a trajectory is shown, and a considerable increase in the flying duration time before crashing in case of a motor fault. These results highlight the potential of adding propeller speed feedback to increase the autopilot’s controllability which enhances drone performance in sensitive applications.

Conference paper

Jeger SL, Lawrance N, Achermann F, Pang O, Kovac M, Siegwart RYet al., 2023, Reinforcement Learning for Outdoor Balloon Navigation: A Successful Controller for an Autonomous Balloon, IEEE ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION MAGAZINE, ISSN: 1070-9932

Journal article

Nguyen PH, Kovač M, Arrue BC, 2023, Editorial: Soft aerial robots: design, control, and applications of morphologically adaptive flyers, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2296-9144

Journal article

Stephens B, Nguyen H-N, Hamaza S, Kovac Met al., 2023, An integrated framework for autonomous sensor placement with aerial robots, IEEE-ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol: 28, Pages: 38-49, ISSN: 1083-4435

Aerial manipulators have the unique ability to coverwide-spread areas within a single mission, making them ideal forthe transport and placement of sensors required to develop aninstrumented environment. Recent work in the field has focusedon controllers for aerial interaction that account for complianceduring contact-based tasks, omitting integration concerns that arecritical to an automated sensor placement solution. Furthermore,state-of-the-art flying base manipulators are often mechanicallyand computationally complex, reducing their efficiency andpracticality. Within this work, we present an interactive framework for autonomous sensor placement that incorporates bothmechanical and software based compliance, optimised for use ona simple coplanar quadrotor. Under appropriate actuation andperception constraints, we detail the development of a control,perception, and motion planning strategy to enable automatedsensor placement that relies solely on onboard computationand sensing, thus presenting a fully contained and accessiblesensor placement approach capable of robust interaction withthe environment. An extended finite-state machine is developedto facilitate automated mission planning.Extensive flight experiments are performed to validate theeffectiveness of each sub-system, as well as the integrated solution.Experiments result in trajectory tracking errors under 10 mm aswell as onboard mass estimation errors under 0.7 % for sensorsof various weights. A statistical analysis of 162 flight experimentsshows the proposed framework’s ability to autonomously placesensors within 10 cm of the target with a success rate of93.8 % and 95 % confidence interval of (89 %, 97 %), thusconfirming the robustness and repeatability of our approach. Avideo showcasing our implemented solution can be found here:https://youtu.be/4R8DhVpEbSQ.

Journal article

Gortat D, Ancel AO, Farinha A, Zufferey R, Kovac Met al., 2023, Use of Superhydrophobic Surfaces for Performance Enhancement of Aerial-Aquatic Vehicles, ADVANCED INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS, Vol: 5

Journal article

Zheng P, Xiao F, Pham N, Farinha A, Kovac Met al., 2023, Metamorphic aerial robot capable of mid-air shape morphing for rapid perching, Scientific Reports, Vol: 13, ISSN: 2045-2322

Aerial robots can perch onto structures at heights to reduce energy use or to remain firmly in place when interacting with their surroundings. Like how birds have wings to fly and legs to perch, these bio-inspired aerial robots use independent perching modules. However, modular design not only increases the weight of the robot but also its size, reducing the areas that the robot can access. To mitigate these problems, we take inspiration from gliding and tree-dwelling mammals such as sugar gliders and sloths. We noted how gliding mammals morph their whole limb to transit between flight and perch, and how sloths optimized their physiology to encourage energy-efficient perching. These insights are applied to design a quadrotor robot that transitions between morphologies to fly and perch with a single-direction tendon drive. The robot’s bi-stable arm is rigid in flight but will conform to its target in 0.97 s when perching, holding its grasp with minimal energy use. We achieved a 30% overall mass reduction by integrating this capability into a single body. The robot perches by a controlled descent or a free-falling drop to avoid turbulent aerodynamic effects. Our proposed design solution can fulfill the need for small perching robots in cluttered environments.

Journal article

Heinrich M, Wiesemuller F, Aeby X, Kaya YF, Sivaraman D, Nguyen PH, Song S, Nystrom G, Kovac Met al., 2023, Hygroscopically-driven transient actuator for environmental sensor deployment, IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), Publisher: IEEE, ISSN: 2769-4526

Conference paper

Kocer BB, Stedman H, Kulik P, Caves I, Van Zalk N, Pawar VM, Kovac Met al., 2022, Immersive view and interface design for teleoperated aerial manipulation, 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 4919-4926

The recent momentum in aerial manipulation has led to an interest in developing virtual reality interfaces for aerial physical interaction tasks with simple, intuitive, and reliable control and perception. However, this requires the use of expensive subsystems and there is still a research gap between interface design, user evaluations and the effect on aerial manipulation tasks. Here, we present a methodology for low-cost available drone systems with a Unity-based interface for immersive FPV teleoperation. We applied our approach in a flight track where a cluttered environment is used to simulate a demanding aerial manipulation task inspired by forestry drones and canopy sampling. Through objective measures of teleoperation performance and subjective questionnaires, we found that operators performed worse using the FPV interface and had higher perceived levels of cognitive load when compared to traditional interface design. Additional analysis of physiological measures highlighted that objective stress levels and cognitive load were also influenced by task duration and perceived performance, providing an insight into what interfaces could target to support teleoperator requirements during aerial manipulation tasks.

Conference paper

Clark A, Baron N, Orr L, Kovac M, Rojas Net al., 2022, On a balanced delta robot for precise aerial manipulation: implementation, testing, and lessons for future designs, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 7359-7366

Using a delta-manipulator for stabilisation of anend-effector to perform precise spatial positioning is a currentarea of interest in aerial manipulation. High speed precisionmovements of a manipulator can cause disturbances to theaerial platform, which hinders trajectory tracking and in somecases could be sufficient to cause a loss of control of the vehicle.In this paper, a statically balanced delta aerial manipulator isdeveloped and evaluated. The system is balanced using threecounter-masses to reduce the force imparted onto the base andthus reduce perturbations to the movement of the drone. Thesystem is thoroughly tested following trajectories while mountedto a force sensor and while on-board an aerial vehicle. Resultsshow that the forces transmitted to the base in all axes arereduced considerably, however improvements in overall flightaccuracy are not observed in aerial settings. Design lessonsto make a balanced delta-manipulator viable for practicalimplementation on an aerial vehicle are discussed in depth.A video summarising the flight testing results is available athttps://youtu.be/fXKnosnVKCk.

Conference paper

Farinha AT, di Tria J, Reyes M, Rosas C, Pang O, Zufferey R, Pomati F, Kovac Met al., 2022, Off-shore and underwater sampling of aquatic environments with the aerial-aquatic drone MEDUSA, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2296-665X

Monitoring of aquatic habitats for water quality and biodiversity requires regular sampling, often in off-shore locations and underwater. Such sampling is commonly performed manually from research vessels, or if autonomous, is constrained to permanent installations. Consequentially, high frequency ecological monitoring, such as for harmful algal blooms, are limited to few sites and/or temporally infrequent. Here, we demonstrate the use of MEDUSA, an Unmanned Aerial-Aquatic Vehicle which is capable of performing underwater sampling and inspection at up to 10 m depth, and is composed of a multirotor platform, a tether management unit and a tethered micro Underwater Vehicle. The system is validated in the task of vertical profiling of Chlorophyll-a levels in freshwater systems by means of a custom solid sample filtering mechanism. This mechanism can collect up to two independent samples per mission by pumping water through a pair of glass-fibre GF/F filters. Chlorophyll levels measured from the solid deposits on the filters are consistent and on par with traditional sampling methods, highlighting the potential of using UAAVs to sample aquatic locations at high frequency and high spatial resolution.

Journal article

Wiesemueller F, Meng Z, Hu Y, Farinha A, Govdeli Y, Nguyen PH, Nystroem G, Kovac Met al., 2022, Transient bio-inspired gliders with embodied humidity responsive actuators for environmental sensing, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 2296-9144

Collecting temporal and spatial high-resolution environmental data can guide studies in environmental sciences to gain insights in ecological processes. The utilization of automated robotic systems to collect these types of data can maximize accuracy, resilience, and deployment rate. Furthermore, it reduces the risk to researchers deploying sensors in inaccessible environments and can significantly increase the cost-effectiveness of such studies. The introduction of transient robotic systems featuring embodied environmental sensors pushes towards building a digital ecology, while introducing only minimal disturbance to the environment. Transient robots made from fully biodegradable and non-fossil based materials, do not develop into hazardous e-waste at the end of their lifetime and can thus enable a broader adoption for environmental sensing in the real world. In this work, our approach towards the design of transient robots includes the integration of humidity-responsive materials in a glider, which is inspired by the Alsomitra macrocarpa seed. The design space of these gliders is explored and their behavior studied numerically, which allows us to make predictions on their flight characteristics. Results are validated against experiments, which show two different gliding behaviors, that can help improve the spread of the sensors. By tailoring the Cellulose-Gelatin composition of the humidity actuator, self-folding systems for selective rainwater exposure can be designed. The pH sensing layer, protected by the actuator, provides visual feedback on the pH of the rainwater. The presented methods can guide further concepts developing transient aerial robotic systems for sustainable, environmental monitoring.

Journal article

Zhang K, Chermprayong P, Xiao F, Tzoumanikas D, Dams B, Kay S, Kocer BB, Burns A, Orr L, Choi C, Darekar DD, Li W, Hirschmann S, Soana V, Ngah SA, Sareh S, Choubey A, Margheri L, Pawar V, Ball RJ, Williams C, Shepherd P, Leutenegger S, Stuart-Smith R, Kovac Met al., 2022, Aerial additive manufacturing with multiple autonomous robots, Nature, Vol: 609, Pages: 709-717, ISSN: 0028-0836

Additive manufacturing methods 1–4 using static and mobile robots are beingdeveloped for both on-site construction 5–8 and off-site prefabrication 9, 10. Here we introduce a new method of additive manufacturing, referred to as Aerial Additive Manufacturing (Aerial-AM), that utilizes a team of aerial robots inspiredby natural builders 11 such as wasps who use collective building methods 12, 13. We present a scalable multi-robot 3D printing and path planning framework that enables robot tasks and population size to be adapted to variations in print geometry throughout a building mission. The multi-robot manufacturing framework allows for autonomous 3D printing under human supervision, real-time assessment of printed geometry and robot behavioural adaptation. To validate autonomous Aerial-AM based on the framework, we develop BuilDrones for depositing materials during flight and ScanDrones for measuring print quality, and integrate a generic real-time model-predictive-control scheme with the Aerial-AM robots. In addition, we integrate a dynamically self-aligning deltamanipulator with the BuilDrone to further improve manufacturing accuracy to 5mm for printing geometry with precise trajectory requirements, and develop four cementitious-polymeric composite mixtures suitable for continuous material deposition. We demonstrate proof-of-concept prints including a cylinder of 2.05m with a rapid curing insulation foam material and a cylinder of 0.18m with strutural pseudoplastic cementitious material, a light-trail virtual print of a dome-like geometry, and multi-robot simulations. Aerial-AM allows manufacturing in-flight2 and offers future possibilities for building in unbounded, at height, or hard to access locations.

Journal article

Stephens B, Orr L, Kocer BB, Nguyen H-N, Kovac Met al., 2022, An aerial parallel manipulator with shared compliance, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol: 7, Pages: 11902-11909, ISSN: 2377-3766

Accessing and interacting with difficult to reach surfaces at various orientations is of interest within a variety of industrial contexts. Thus far, the predominant robotic solution to such a problem has been to leverage the maneuverability of a fully actuated, omnidirectional aerial manipulator. Such an approach, however, requires a specialised system with a high relative degree of complexity, thus reducing platform endurance and real-world applicability. The work here presents a new aerial system composed of a parallel manipulator and conventional, underactuated multirotor flying base to demonstrate interaction with vertical and non-vertical surfaces. Our solution enables compliance to external disturbance on both subsystems, the manipulator and flying base, independently with a goal of improved overall system performance when interacting with surfaces. To achieve this behaviour, an admittance control strategy is implemented on various layers of the flying base's dynamics together with torque limits imposed on the manipulator actuators. Experimental evaluations show that the proposed system is compliant to external perturbations while allowing for differing interaction behaviours as compliance parameters of each subsystem are altered. Such capabilities enable an adjustable form of dexterity in completing sensor installation, inspection and aerial physical interaction tasks. A video of our system interacting with various surfaces can be found here: https://youtu.be/38neGb8-lXg .

Journal article

Sethi SS, Kovac M, Wiesemueller F, Miriyev A, Boutry CMet al., 2022, Biodegradable sensors are ready to transform autonomous ecological monitoring, NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, Vol: 6, Pages: 1245-1247, ISSN: 2397-334X

Journal article

Nechausov S, Ivanchenko A, Morozov O, Miriyev A, Must I, Platnieks O, Jurinovs M, Gaidukovs S, Aabloo A, Kovac M, Bulgakov Bet al., 2022, Effects of ionic liquids and dual curing on vat photopolymerization process and properties of 3d-printed ionogels, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, Vol: 56, ISSN: 2214-8604

Journal article

Ho B, Kocer BB, Kovac M, 2022, Vision based crown loss estimation for individual trees with remote aerial robots, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vol: 188, Pages: 75-88, ISSN: 0924-2716

With the capability of capturing high-resolution imagery data and the ease of accessing remote areas, aerial robots are becoming increasingly popular for forest health monitoring applications. For example, forestry tasks such as field surveys and foliar sampling which are generally manual and labour intensive can be automated with remotely controlled aerial robots. In this study, we propose two new online frameworks to quantify and rank the severity of individual tree crown loss. The real-time crown loss estimation (RTCLE) model localises and classifies individual trees into their respective crown loss percentage bins. Experiments are conducted to investigate if synthetically generated tree images can be used to train the RTCLE model as real images with diverse viewpoints are generally expensive to collect. Results have shown that synthetic data training helps to achieve a satisfactory baseline mean average precision (mAP) which can be further improved with just some additional real imagery data. We showed that the mAP can be increased approximately from 60% to 78% by mixing the real dataset with the generated synthetic data. For individual tree crown loss ranking, a two-step crown loss ranking (TSCLR) framework is developed to handle the inconsistently labelled crown loss data. The TSCLR framework detects individual trees before ranking them based on some relative crown loss severity measures. The tree detection model is trained with the combined dataset used in the RTCLE model training where we achieved an mAP of approximately 95% suggesting that the model generalises well to unseen datasets. The relative crown loss severity of each tree is estimated, with deep representation learning, by a probabilistic encoder from a fully trained variational autoencoder (VAE) model. The VAE is trained end-to-end to reconstruct tree images in a background agnostic way. Based on a conservative evaluation, the estimated crown loss severity from the probabilistic encoder generally

Journal article

Kocer BB, Orr L, Stephens B, Kaya YF, Buzykina T, Khan A, Kovac Met al., 2022, An intelligent aerial manipulator for wind turbine inspection and repair, 2022 UKACC 13th International Conference on Control (CONTROL), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 226-227

This study proposes aerial robots utilizing repair operations at height for wind turbines. It is aimed to decrease the risks for human health for a repair operation in risky environments. We address the wind turbine repair problem by proposing a new aerial manipulator that can leverage online detection and decision making. Our proposed system can help to reduce the time and costs for infrastructure maintenance when autonomous aerial robots are deployed intelligently.

Conference paper

Li L, Wang S, Zhang Y, Song S, Wang C, Tan S, Zhao W, Wang G, Sun W, Yang F, Liu J, Chen B, Xu H, Nguyen P, Kovac M, Wen Let al., 2022, Aerial-aquatic robots capable of crossing the air-water boundary and hitchhiking on surfaces., Science Robotics, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 2470-9476

Many real-world applications for robots-such as long-term aerial and underwater observation, cross-medium operations, and marine life surveys-require robots with the ability to move between the air-water boundary. Here, we describe an aerial-aquatic hitchhiking robot that is self-contained for flying, swimming, and attaching to surfaces in both air and water and that can seamlessly move between the two. We describe this robot's redundant, hydrostatically enhanced hitchhiking device, inspired by the morphology of a remora (Echeneis naucrates) disc, which works in both air and water. As with the biological remora disc, this device has separate lamellar compartments for redundant sealing, which enables the robot to achieve adhesion and hitchhike with only partial disc attachment. The self-contained, rotor-based aerial-aquatic robot, which has passively morphing propellers that unfold in the air and fold underwater, can cross the air-water boundary in 0.35 second. The robot can perform rapid attachment and detachment on challenging surfaces both in air and under water, including curved, rough, incomplete, and biofouling surfaces, and achieve long-duration adhesion with minimal oscillation. We also show that the robot can attach to and hitchhike on moving surfaces. In field tests, we show that the robot can record video in both media and move objects across the air/water boundary in a mountain stream and the ocean. We envision that this study can pave the way for future robots with autonomous biological detection, monitoring, and tracking capabilities in a wide variety of aerial-aquatic environments.

Journal article

Schwab F, Wiesemueller F, Mucignat C, Park Y-L, Lunati I, Kovac M, Jusufi Aet al., 2022, Undulatory Swimming Performance Explored With a Biorobotic Fish and Measured by Soft Sensors and Particle Image Velocimetry, FRONTIERS IN ROBOTICS AND AI, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2296-9144

Journal article

Zufferey R, Siddall R, Armanini SF, Kovac Met al., 2022, Multirotor Aircraft and the Aquatic Environment, Biosystems and Biorobotics, Pages: 197-211

The previous chapters presented hybrid robot concepts and prototypes relying on the use of fixed wings for lift generation. The higher flight efficiency of such devices makes them suitable for covering large distances and can even serve to extend their locomotion envelope (see Chap. 11 ).

Book chapter

Zufferey R, Siddall R, Armanini SF, Kovac Met al., 2022, Diving from Flight, Biosystems and Biorobotics, Pages: 99-129

Having measured the longitudinal aerodynamics of the AquaMAV in wind tunnel tests (cf. Chap. 7 ), the data gathered can then be used to analyse the dive performance of the vehicle, as well as estimate and evaluate its dynamic properties. As in Sect. 6.4, we begin by considering a quasi-steady state model, where, furthermore, the aerial and aquatic phases are considered separately and transition phases are omitted. This model is used to obtain planar dive trajectories for both the purely aerial and the purely aquatic phase, providing a clear overview of the achievable performance of the robot. In the second part of the chapter, a more detailed model of the vehicle is developed that accounts for some dynamic effects and explicitly includes the air-to-water transition. The latter model is used to obtain more insight into the vehicle dynamics and into the impact phase. It also serves as a basis for simulations covering several envisaged mission stages.

Book chapter

Zufferey R, Siddall R, Armanini SF, Kovac Met al., 2022, Between Sea and Sky: Aerial Aquatic Locomotion in Miniature Robots, Biosystems and Biorobotics, Pages: 1-9

Book chapter

Zufferey R, Siddall R, Armanini SF, Kovac Met al., 2022, Aquatic Escape: Repeatable Escape with Combustion, Biosystems and Biorobotics, Pages: 131-153

Several systems have been developed with aerial-aquatic locomotion capabilities but without demonstrating consecutive transitions to flight from water. Moreover, while some multirotor vehicles possess the ability to operate in both air and water [108, 109], the transition to flight is typically constrained to very calm sea conditions. Fixed-wing robots able to transition dynamically between water and air through high-power thrust bursts represent a low-cost, versatile and more reliable solution. Compared to multirotor vehicles, this approach that would simultaneously result in an increased flight range and allow for aquatic escape in a wider variety of conditions.

Book chapter

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