Aquatic Micro Aerial Vehicles (AquaMAV): Bio-inspired air-water mobility for robotics

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Aeronautics

Abstract

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a step changing technology that allows for fast, low-risk and low- cost environmental sensing with a world-wide market value of $89bn over the next ten years (as estimated by the 2013 Teal Group forecast). However, current UAVs are greatly limited by being able to operate in air only, preventing them to move effectively on the ground or in water. Hybrid air-water mobility would address the societal need for remote water sampling in inaccessible areas such as during floods or after nuclear accidents. For example, UAVs could quickly provide water samples following a nuclear accident to better coordinate response efforts. While some UAVs can land on water, no technologies are available that allow them to both dive and fly, due to dramatic design trade-offs that have to be solved for movement in both air and water, and due to the absence of high-power propulsion systems that would allow a transition from underwater to air.

Expanding on my emerging leader position in aerial robotics, I will develop a novel generation of hybrid flying robots, called Aquatic Micro Aerial Vehicles (AquaMAVs). These robots offer the revolutionary mission capability to fly to a site of interest, dive into the water to take a water sample and provide video footage and retake flight to return to the base station.The engineering approach will build on the analysis of aerial-aquatic animals such as flying fish, diving birds and gliding squid, and the implementation of their key bio-inspired design principles using the best of robotic engineering.

This First Grant Scheme application, leveraged by major strategic investment from Imperial College to the AquaMAV research area and a recent donation of £1.25m for a new flight arena, will allow me to establish scientific leadership in bio-inspired aerial robotics. It will build the basis to deliver the key building blocks for aerial-aquatic robots requiring innovation in propulsion, adaptive morphologies and autonoy that allow for hybrid mobility. The final goal of this first grant is to demonstrate novel propulsion systems and wing folding mechanisms that are tailored to AquaMAV requirements. Following this grant the systems will be integrated in a fully featured AquaMAV that can fly, dive into water, dive while taking water samples and transition back to propeller driven flight. Besides the application oriented impact, this project will also deliver key scientific insights on locomotion modalities for robotics across varied terrain.

Having partnered with five industrial partners, including the National Nuclear Labs and Shell, will provide the pathways to industrial impact and continued research support building on the results from this grant. Major corporate interest in this project is demonstrated by committed resources of more than £65k of in kind benefits from industrial partners and two CASE studentships for higher Technology Readiness Levels of AquaMAV. This grant will provide the bridge in research staff resources that will allow the demonstration of AquaMAV principles and build the basis for future impact. Aerial-aquatic robot mobility is widely unexplored and this project will initiate a novel and high impact area in academia as demonstrated by support from leaders in robotics and biology, including support from Harvard University. Once realised, AquaMAVs will be a major technological stepping stone for new robotic applications, such as search and rescue in flooded buildings, for water sampling during oil spills or after nuclear accidents, and for low cost oceanographic data collection, all of which are areas of vital national importance to the U.K.

Planned Impact

Impact beneficiaries include industry, marine research centres and the wider public. In this section I will describe who will benefit and how. The pathways to this impact are described in the Pathways to Impact document.

Industrial impact:
I have partnered with five companies that have recognised the impact potential of AquaMAV and are offering more than £65k in in-kind support and two CASE studentships to pull the achievements from this grant to higher technology readiness levels (see support letters). Each of these companies has a distinct role by providing technological expertise or by representing a field of AquaMAV applications. The industrial partners can be broadly classed in two categories; as (i) end-user partners who are interested in using market ready AquaMAVs and (ii) as translation partners who are interested in adopting the AquaMAV technology and developing it to market ready products. The specific expertise of the partners are partially overlapping which is intentional and one pillar of risk mitigation in the development of AquaMAV towards industrial impact.

My primary end user partner and the closest collaborator will be Shell who is interested in applying AquaMAV for emergency response, for oceanographic sampling and for de-risking oil exploration. The pioneering mission capability of AquaMAV will bring a major differentiating technology to the oil industry, in particular to vulnerable areas such as the Arctic Sea where floating ice dramatically limits manual sampling capabilities. AquaMAV will allow for cheap and low-risk monitoring of the ecosystem providing not only cost savings and competitive advantage to Shell but also allowing to protect the environment by reacting quickly to emergencies.

Other areas of AquaMAV applications are represented by the following institutions with whom I will interact regularly to involve a variety of end users in AquaMAV development.
-The National Nuclear Centre for decommissioning and first response after nucear accidents. -The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science for monitoring marine infrastructures (Cefas).
-Operation Wallacea for monitoring of corral reefs and other marine ecosystems.

My primary translation partner will be National Instruments (NI) who offers expertise in electronics, control and sensing and who is already an established provider of industrial technology frameworks. The collaboration will consist of using NI electronics on the robots and LabView for the 3D motion tracking environment. The established expertise of NI in these areas and NI's commitment of providing technical assistance and training as a match to this grant will be of great benefit to the project. At the same time, AquaMAV will be an informative application platform for NI robotics solutions that will help to leverage AquaMAV application towards NI's established network of industrial clients.

Societal impact:
Further beneficiaries of impact will include the wider public who will be involved in the research through museum exhibitions, public talks and Hackaton events at Imperial College. Using my established network and track record of public media interaction I will communicate academic findings to society and continue to consult on government policies for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technologies and opportunities.

The researchers and students working on the AquaMAV project will also be beneficiaries and carriers of impact through their training in interdisciplinary robotics research. Several of my students are already spinning off the technology to promising ventures and will influence society with both, their technological expertise and their transferrable skills that they developed during the work on the AquaMAV project.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title PhD as art Competition Entry 
Description A proposal for an exhibit based on aerial-aquatic locomotion has been accepted for display at the 'PhD as Art' competition sponsored by the Royal College of Art. The exhibition will take place July 2017 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Only the proposal has been accepted, the exhibition will take place July 2017 
 
Description In nature, several animals have evolved design solutions that enable them to successfully transition between water and air, and move in both media. Examples include flying fish, flying squid, diving birds and diving insects. We have reviewed the biological literature on these multimodal animals and abstracted their underlying design principles with the aim of building a robotic equivalent, the Aquatic Micro Air Vehicle (AquaMAV). Our exploration has identified key adaptations from nature and designs from robotics. Based on this evaluation we have proposed key design principles for the design of successful aerial-aquatic robots, i.e. using a plunge diving strategy for water entry, folding wings for diving efficiency, water jet propulsion for water takeoff and hydrophobic surfaces for water shedding and dry flight. Current Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) are greatly limited by being able to operate in air only. Designing multimodal MAVs that can fly effectively, dive into the water and retake flight would enable applications of distributed water quality monitoring, search and rescue operations and underwater exploration. While some aircraft can land on water, no technologies are available that allow them to both dive and fly, due to the dramatic design trade-offs that have to be solved for movement in both air and water, and due to the absence of high-power propulsion systems that would allow a transition from water to air.
AquaMAV is a unique robot that can fold its wings to dive into water from the air. Once submerged it records data and collects water samples. A high-pressure water jet then thrusts it back into the air to continue flying.
Being capable of locomotion in both air and water, AquaMAV would enable novel mission profiles in complex environments, such as water sampling after floods or underwater structural inspections.
Exploitation Route Compared to manual sampling, AquaMAV can provide much faster and cheaper assessment of the aquatic environment without putting humans at risk. This is of particular importance in vulnerable and inaccessible environments, in case of emergency situation or for periodically monitoring the environment.
The impact of the outcomes of the project is demonstrated by the CDE funded project and the interest of TV/radio/press and environmental agencies.
The researchers are currently looking to collaborate with oceanographers and various water authorities to take their testing to the next stage. The aim is to deploy the robot in a wide variety of scenarios, to test the robot's limits in waves, wind and weather, and examine the physics of high speed dives into water. An additional propulsion system is also under development to make the AquaMAV fully aquatic, capable of long periods of submarine operation.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/aerial-robotics/research/aquamav/
 
Description The AquaMAV project has been widely featured in non-academic circles, such as news broadcast, science outreach events and museum exhibits (the October 2016 prototype of the AquaMAV is on display in the Antenna Gallery of the Science Museum, London). The presentation of the project has helped to inform the public about how robots can be used in novel ways to help with real problems, and the ways in which natural design can contribute to the building of better machines/tools.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Transport,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg visit the new Brahmal Vasudevan Multi-Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena at Imperial College London
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg was the first Minister to visit the brand new Brahmal Vasudevan Multi-Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena at Imperial College London. Dr. Mirko Kovac presented the activities and the projects of the Aerial Robotics Lab. PhD students in the lab gave a demonstration of drones in action, showcasing the 16 high speed 3D aerial tracking cameras that record in real-time the dynamics of robots in the air. The visit, held on Friday 24 November, came in advance of a government announcement that police will be given new powers to prevent the unsafe or criminal use of drones under planned legislation. The measures are intended to allow drone users to continue flying safely and legally, helping to place the UK at the forefront of the fast-growing drone industry. This will also pave the way for the devices to be harnessed for a range of uses by businesses and public services. The government plan to publish the draft Drone Bill for consultation in spring 2018.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-powers-for-police-to-address-illegal-and-unsafe-use-of-drones
 
Description Citation of project by Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PN-479#fullreport
 
Description Applied Off-site and On-site Collective Multi-Robot Autonomous Building Manufacturing
Amount £1,201,253 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S031464/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2021
 
Description Centre for Defence Enterprise funding
Amount £73,718 (GBP)
Funding ID CDE101491 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 06/2017
 
Description EPSRC program grant
Amount £4,448,296 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R009953/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2023
 
Description ISCF - Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Hub
Amount £14,635,591 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R026173/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 04/2021
 
Description Robotic Ecosystems for Future Infrastructures
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2023
 
Title AquaMAV testing in wing and water tunnels 
Description AquaMAV prototypes were tested in wind and water tunnels that are part of the national wind tunnel facility. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The required setup included the design of an automated catapult launcher for the water tank and an automated data collection unit for the wind tunnel. These tools are useful and available for other projects. 
URL http://www.nwtf.ac.uk/html/index.html
 
Title Bioinspired technologies for construction and repair of the built environment 
Description Within the Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing (Aerial ABM) project, we take inspiration from biology to create novel printing, perching and flight technologies that are safer, more interactable and efficient. For example in smaller flying robots we take inspiration from house flies to create perching mechanisms based on mechanical intelligence of the body morphology. For larger robotic systems we rely on integration of complex control, sensing, and planning to enhance perching robustness. Inspired by ballooning spider, we have developed perching systems that enable stable motion of drones in 3D space based on strings and magnets. In order to develop efficient printing methods, we are inspired by nest creation methods employed by animals such as Swiftlet in nature. We have developed light weight deposition mechanisms and integrated them into flying drones that can turn Polyurethane foam materials into complex 3D structures that are more flexible in size and location. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact No impact so far. However, the work by Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing has been praised by a large number recognized academics and industrialists in the field, who are keen to collaborate with us on the existing or related future grants. This gives a very positive prospective for the societal and technological impacts of Aerial ABM within the near future. 
URL http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6288/895
 
Title Brahmal Vasudevan Multi-Terrai Aerial Robotics Arena 
Description Imperial College London has recently opened the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi-Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena at the Department of Aeronautics. This flight arena is the first of its kind in Europe. The facility is dedicated to the design, development and testing of novel mobile robots for various unstructured and extreme environments. Hosted on the roof of the City and Guilds building, the Robotics Arena has been built based on a £1.25 million gift from Imperial alumnus Mr Brahmal Vasudevan, who graduated in Aeronautical Engineering in 1990. The arena can be configured for various terrains, including air/ground/water and it allows for the setup of simulated challenging environments, industrial scenarios and urban infrastructures. It is designed to allow for experiments including smoke and combustion and it is fully laser rated. The space is equipped with 16 high speed 3D aerial tracking cameras, that can be used to record in real-time the dynamics of robots in air and on ground. A further ten 3D tracking cameras will be positioned in a water tank, which will be used to test novel multi-terrain robots that can move in both air and water. The facility includes one Innovation Room that will be used for work group creative design and robot development. Located next to it is the Robotics Workshop containing 3D printers, micro-manufacturing equipment and a fume hood for component fabrication and assembly. Two outdoor spaces are accessible from the arena for open-air testing. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Particular well suited to design, develop and test mobile robots for unstructured and extreme environments, the space will be dedicated to the creation of future robots for smart cities, for supporting workers in hazardous environments, or for search and rescue missions. It will be used as teaching facility for undergraduates and PhDs and will constitute a showcase space for promoting robotics technologies at Imperial College London with international reach. 
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/182375/uk-world-leader-drone-tech-says/
 
Description Aerial Robotics Lab and the UK Atomic Energy Authority's Race (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) 
Organisation UK Atomic Energy Authority
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The collaboration between a team from UK Atomic Energy Authority's Race (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) and a team from Imperial College aimed at testing the use of drones in the maintenance of the next generation of nuclear power reactors.
Collaborator Contribution The Aerial Robotics Laboratory from Imperial College London designed a bioinspired nano aerial vehicle to fly into the reactor. The drone is a quadcopter with the size of the palm of a human hand to minimise turbulences. It is made out of transparent plastic and printed circuit material. To conserve its battery, the drone is able to attach itself with a magnet to the underside of a metal plate held by the robot. Then the drone uses a pulley and cord to lower itself down to the floor like a spider.
Impact This multi-disciplinary collaboration is continuing toward the development of robots that can go into places that are dangerous for humans.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) 
Organisation Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Staff time for meetings to discuss possible and active ORCA Hub projects.
Collaborator Contribution Staff time for meetings to discuss end-user requirements for drones in infrastructure inspection and evaluation. Provide a testing site and materials for a demonstration of aerial inspection.
Impact nil
Start Year 2018
 
Description Superhydrophobic surface manufacture 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Chemistry
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution ++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Laboratory, equipment and other resources for the fabrication of superhydrophobic surfaces. Testing and analysis of the surface performance for drag reduction applications. Knowledge in fluid mechanics.
Collaborator Contribution Knowledge in the chemistry and manufacture of superhydrophobic surfaces.
Impact Multi-disciplinary collaboration (Chemistry/Fluid Mechanics). Manufacture of a spray-on superhydrophobic surface for hydrodynamic drag reduction surfaces.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Visiting Faculty - Barbara Mazzolai (Italian Institute of Technology, IIT) 
Organisation Italian Institute of Technology (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia IIT)
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Barbara Mazzolai is Coordinator of the Center for Micro-BioRobotics (CMBR) at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and Deputy Director at IIT delegate to the Supervision and Organization of IIT Centers Network at the same institute. She collaborates with Mirko Kovac as expert in bioinspired design, soft robotics and smart materials to be integrated in the design and development of aerial robots. She has spent 6 months of sabbatical period at the Aerial Robotics Lab to work on joint publications and joint project proposals.
Collaborator Contribution Joint publication in the Journal of the Royal Society, Interface (Sareh S, et al 2017, ISSN 1742-5662); Joint project proposal submitted to the EU H2020 Call ICT-25-2016-2017 (Hu-DroneS); advisory role on PhD students and Post docs. Distinguished BioRobotics Lecture at Imperial College (June 30, 2017)
Impact Joint publication in the Journal of the Royal Society, Interface (Sareh S, et al 2017, ISSN 1742-5662); Joint project proposal submitted to the EU H2020 Call ICT-25-2016-2017 (Hu-DroneS); advisory role on PhD students and Post docs. Distinguished BioRobotics Lecture at Imperial College (June 30, 2017). The collaboration is multidisciplinary and includes: aerial robotics, soft robotics, material science, biology.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria) 
Organisation University of Victoria
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria)
Collaborator Contribution Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria)
Impact Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria) 
Organisation University of Victoria
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria)
Collaborator Contribution Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria)
Impact Visiting Faculty - Prof. Afzal Suleman (University of Victoria)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Visiting student from EPFL - Celia Raposo 
Organisation Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Supervision. Expertise in robot development, fluid mechanics, electronics and flight performance.
Collaborator Contribution Manufacturing, testing and design work.
Impact Journal and conference paper submitted. Disciplines involved: Electronics, navigation, fluid mechanics flight dynamics.
Start Year 2018
 
Description BBC Click Feature 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Kovac conducted an interview with the BBC for their 'Click' technology feature, with Rob Siddall providing background assistance. The topic of the segment was pollution monitoring, and the interview also featured footage of robot prototypes from the project being tested.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08hz447/click-air-quality
 
Description BBC World News 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview of Mirko Kovac for BBC World News as Robotics expert with audience of ca. 400 million people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38505626
 
Description BBC World Service - Special edition BBC Click on Drones 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Special edition of BBC click with interview to Dr Mirko Kovac
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p030vxy4
 
Description BtS Conference (Croatia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Breaking the Surface Marine Robotics (BtS) serves as a prominent meeting place for experts and students of marine control engineering and signal processing and the marine robotics application areas. Dr Mirko Kovac presented the our latest aerial robotics technologies with highlights on the work on Aerial ABM at this meeting during October 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.marinetraining.eu/content/breaking-surface-2016-8th-international-interdisciplinary-field...
 
Description Children Christmas Lecture at Imperial College 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Mirko Kovac was invited to be the speaker at the annual Children's Christmas Lecture at Imperial College. The event is one of the College's annual prestigious lectures, the aim of which is to demonstrate to children that science can be fun as well as interesting and hopefully they will go on to consider studying science at GCSE, A Level and beyond. The age range of the audience is 11-16, involving schools in London and children of Imperial staff and alumnus who attend as well as members of the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/eventssummary/event_9-11-2016-10-57-45
 
Description Children Christmas Lecture at Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Mirko Kovac was invited speaker to the IET and University of Surrey 2017 Children's Christmas Lecture. The event is organised for schools, with target audience of children between 13 - 18 year olds who are interested in Science, Engineering and Technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/iet-christmas-lecture-2017-surrey-tickets-39319167689#
 
Description Ecobuild Exhibition (Excel, London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Ecobuild was a four-day event at Excel Exhibition Centre in London bringing professionals and researchers in the field of construction together to exchange ideas and demonstrate potential implementations for our future built environment. Aerial Robotics Lab at Imperial has been invited to give a presentation on "Drones for construction and repair in future cities" as well as the opportunity to display novel technologies developed within Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing project to a wide range of audiences from industry to academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description European Robotics Forum 2017 - Talk at Workshop on Aerial Robotics Inspection: from prototypes to Industrial Applications 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The European Robotics Forum is the most influential event of the robotics community in Europe. The event gather together academic researchers, industrial representatives and EU officers to present and discuss robotics trends, future initiatives and funding opportunities. The 2017 edition was held in Edinburgh, from March 22 to 24 (http://www.erf2017.eu). The Aerial Robotics Lab has been invited to participate and give a talk at the workshop organised by the Topic Group on Aerial Robotics. The presentations session was followed by a group discussion on aerial robotics challenges and future opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.erf2017.eu
 
Description European Robotics Forum: talk at Workshop on Aerial Robotics Inspection: from prototypes to Industrial Applications 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of the project activities during the Workshop on Aerial Robotics Inspection: from prototypes to Industrial Applications at the 2017 European Robotics Forum. Discussion and networking followed the presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.erf2017.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ERF2017-Schedule-v1.1.pdf
 
Description Exhibition at Science Museum - London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact AquaMAV has been featured for a Topic Zone at London Science Museum from February 2017. Topic Zones are single-object displays that highlight a new technology and are displayed for four months, reaching an audience of about 100,000. Technology displayed must be both interesting and ground-breaking. Content is presented via digital interactive displays and visitors are invited to comment on the objects - with internal moderation. The aim is to encourage visitors to discuss cutting-edge science and technology.
Two prototypes of AquaMAV are currently exposed in the Science Museum, one prototype is attached to the roof showing the flying modality and the other is in a tank showing the underwater modality. The robots will be exposed for 4 months during the event on Robots.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://antenna.sciencemuseum.org.uk/topiczone/articles/can-flying-diving-robots-help-keep-our-ocean...
 
Description ICRA 2017 talk at Workshop IC3 - Industry of the future: Collaborative, Connected, Cognitive. Novel approaches stemming from factory of the future & industry 4.0 initiatives (June 2 2017, Singapore) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ICRA is the flagship conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. We have submitted the proposal for a talk at the workshop on IC3 Industry of the future which has been evaluated and accepted for the event. During the talk, Dr Kovac has shown the results and the challenges related to the aerial robotics construction for the industry of the future. A group discussion with researchers, industrial representatives and policymakers has followed after the talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://sssa.bioroboticsinstitute.it/workshops/IC3_icra2017
 
Description IEEE RAS Conference on Soft Robotics - RoboSoft 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ORCA Hub featured during the RoboSoft2018 full day workshop on "Soft-bodied structures in nature and robotics: towards new trends and opportunities"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.robosoft2018.org
 
Description Imperial Festival (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Imperial Festival was a two day event where the Aerial Robotics Lab demonstrated new technologies for flight, perching, printing using quadcopter platforms as well as other flying robots to university students and schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/festival/
 
Description Imperial Festival 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact ORCA Hub featured during the Imperial Festival (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/festival/) at the Aerial Robotics Lab stand and during the tours in the Aerial Robotics Arena
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/festival/
 
Description Industrial Strategy all staff event - Rising to the Grand Challenge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Exhibitor stand of the ORCA Hub at the Industrial Strategy all staff event - Rising to the Grand Challenge, held at the Conference Centre in Westminster. As a part of the event, we participated in the organised marketplace with different exhibitions created by partner organisations and the business industry. The stand has been visited by ministers, senior members, and BEIS staff keen on discussing the Industrial Strategy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at Behang University, Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mirko Kovac has been invited to give a talk at Behang University, Beijing
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited talk at Khalifa University (2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mirko Kovac has been invited to give a talk at Khalifa University during the MBZIRC competition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynote Lecture at International Conference of Micro Aerial Vehicles 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mirko Kovac has been invited to give a Keynote Lecture at the 2017 International Conference of Micro Aerial Vehicles (http://www.imav2017.org)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.imav2017.org
 
Description Keynote lecture in International Conference of Micro Aerial Vehicles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Conference of Micro Aerial Vehicles, Toulouse, FR
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynotes lectures in CNRS Journées Nationales du GdR Robotique 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 11.2018 CNRS Journées Nationales du GdR Robotique, Paris, FR
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Late breaking results poster presentation at ICRA 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Late breaking results poster presentation at ICRA 2018. Title: "Bio-inspired Aquatic Micro Air Vehicle for Environmental Monitoring and Disaster Relief". A large amount of interest was raised about both the research at the scientific level and its applications, including industry participants asking for a field test in their working environment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Live interview on Aljazeera TV 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Live interview of Dr Mirko Kovac on Aljazeera TV as Aerial Robotics expert for the world news.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://twitter.com/aerialrobotics/status/787007134978437120
 
Description Local talk in London (Laura Margcheri) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Laura also talked about her experience at Imperial during a local event on March 8, showing the AcquaMAV.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.facebook.com/events/2602419949830206/
 
Description McKinsey & Co. Advanced EMEA Industries Conference: Our Unmanned Future (Rome, Italy) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact We were invited to present the vision of the Aerial Robotics Lab on "Our Unmanned Future", which included examples on using drones for construction and repair of the built environment. Over 400 professionals from high-impact industries such as Airbus and Ferrari and media professionals have presented and attended this event which had been instrumental in creating links for future project activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Meeting with BASF about polyurethane materials for repair tasks 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact meetings and discussions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Opening of the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi-Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact On October 20, 2017, the Aerial Robotics Lab has organised on official ceremony for the opening of the new Multi-Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena at Imperial College London. The development of the Arena is thanks to a £1.25 million gift from Imperial College alumnus Mr Brahmal Vasudevan. The Arena is the first of its kind in Europe, enabling engineers to test the next generation of aerial robotics for urban environments and extreme conditions. The researchers in the Arena can simulate different terrains in the air, the ocean and on land. The space also enables the engineers to create extreme conditions such as fire, smoke, and heat to simulate how the next generation of drones will perform in harsh environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/182375/uk-world-leader-drone-tech-says/
 
Description Paper plane design and launch competition workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Attendees were introduced into aircraft design and how the principles apply to paper planes. They could the make their own designs for a flight distance competition. The planes were launched at the same speed and angle and the landing point marked for every attempt. Participants could learn about the effect of changes to the design by launching them consecutively in a repeatable way. A podium for the top three was held for additional engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Pint of Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I (Rob Siddall) spoke for 30 minutes and did a small live demonstration to an audience of around 50, about the Aquatic Micro Air Vehicles Research. The talk generated a great deal of interest, and I was invited to repeat it again later in the year by the organisers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/robotic-presents-and-bionic-futures
 
Description Plenary talk at the World of Drones Congress 2017, Brisbane 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Aerial Robotics Lab has been invited to give a talk at the inaugural World of Drones Congress (WoDC) 2017, which has been held from 31 August to 2 September 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Over 630 delegates from across the Asia Pacific and beyond attended and the congress featured a fascinating Expo with over 30 exhibitors from Australia, China and Japan. The program included the launch of Australia's very first state-wide Drones Strategy by the Premier of Queensland and the first Australian National Drone Safety Forum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.worldofdrones.com.au
 
Description Poster presentation at ICRA 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation during the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA): "Bioinspired aquatic micro air vehicle for environmental monitoring and disaster relief"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gammon Construction Imperial visit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo COEBIT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 09/18. Presentation at COEBIT (Centre of Excellence for Bio-Inspired Technology) meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Delegations from the french embassy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact with Prof. Nozha Boujemaa, Director of DATAIA Institute
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Imperial festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public event with Imperial Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Italian AI experts and ministry representatives 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 31/01/19. Lab visit from committee of Italian AI experts and ministry representatives
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Microsoft 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Yearly tour for CEOs, Research Directors, and other leaders from their university partners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Oxford animal flight group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 08/10/18. Visit to Oxford animal flight group for small symposium 
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Paul Pounds 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact University of Queensland, Australia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Science museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 22/10/18-26/10/2018. Science museum outreach: showcasing research, interacting with visitors, helping children design robots
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Trenton Jerde 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact editor for Nature Machine Intelligence
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo World of Drones Congress 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 13/12/18. Lab visit from Australian "World of Drones Congress" organisers (largest industrial drones conference in Australasia)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and demo Zaman Ahmad 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Cyber Training Firm, Malaysia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Press release in Telez 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact annoucement of EMPA collaberation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.telez.ch/neues-drohnenlabor_14813/#
 
Description Research Colloquium (ETH Zurich) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Mirko Kovac presented our novel 3D printing and aerial construction technologies arising from Aerial ABM at the Research Colloquium on Building Technologies at ETH Zurich in January 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research Talk (Livorno, Italy) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In April 2016, Dr Mirko Kovac talked about the use soft materials in aerial robots to enhance the flight performance as well as creating support structures inspired by birds in nature. The talk attracted a large number of audience and his team were invited to write a book chapter on Soft Aerial Robots.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.robosoftca.eu/information/events/soft-robotics-week-2016
 
Description Research Talk (Perugia, Italy) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Mirko Kovac presented the progress on 3D printing materials within the Aerial ABM project at the International Conference on Smart and Multifunctional Materials, Structures and Systems in Perugia, Italy. This presentation initiated new discussions for possible collaboration with colleagues at the Italian Institute of Technology on 3D printing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://2016.cimtec-congress.org/
 
Description Research Visit to EMPA-Nest in Zurich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation and tour of EMPA nest facility, regarding potential collaborations between Imperial and ETH Zurich
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Royal Society (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The event was hosted by prof. Brian Cox at the Royal festival hall who was running a debate on Artificial Intelligence. Dr Mirko Kovac ran a 10 minutes presentation and live demo showing in-flight arm stabilization of a robotic arm methods for drones.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/festival/
 
Description Science Museum Autonomous Vehicles Interactive Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Took part in the 5 day interactive Science Museum event on Autonomous vehicles. Several laboratory members worked through case studies on designing autonomous vehicles for practical use with the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description TAROS 2018 Conference Presentation (invited) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As the winner of the Best UK PhD in robotics, Rob Siddall was invited to give a short talk detailing his thesis on Aerial-Aquatic Locomotion at the TAROS 2018 conference in Bristol.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk (RACE, Culham, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Mirko Kovac presented latest technologies for aerial manipulation and construction at RACE in challenging environments Symposium, Culham, UK, during October 2017. The presentation has initiated a number of collaborative activities on the use of aerial robots in exploration and repair in challenging environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.race.ukaea.uk/
 
Description Talk and presentation in TEDxBolognaWomen (Laura Margheri) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TEDxBolognaWomen: http://www.tedxbologna.com/perspectives/
It was held on December 8, 2018. I talked about the multidisciplinary of biorobotics, from my experience etc and I showed a video of the AquaMAV among the examples.
The outreach was mainly at national level (Italy), even if the video is globally online:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8xP8lMsl3Q
 
Description Talk at PwC School of Mines 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Mirko Kovac participated in the panel discussion around the potential uses of drones/AI/robotics in Mining at the PwC annual conference "London School of Mines"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk to a Secondary School (St George's Catholic College 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk at the annual awards ceremony for a secondary school in southampton, GCSE students and parents invited.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk to a sixth form school group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A talk on robotics and question session with a large school group (Year 9 - A2 Level)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Unmanned Maritime Systems Conference, May 16-17 2018, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mirko Kovac was invited speaker at the second annual Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology conference, held in London on the 16th and 17th May 2018, organised by the SMi Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.smi-online.co.uk/defence/uk/conference/Unmanned-Maritime-Systems#tab_overview
 
Description Urban Explorers Children's Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Participated in the Urban Explorers childrens conference, talking with primary/secondary school children about robotics and the work of Imperial College Researchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description lecture on biorobotics during a workshop organized by the IAAD (Laura Margheri) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Laura gave a lecture on biorobotics during a workshop organized by the IAAD (https://www.iaad.it/en/). She made a sort of review of bio-robots, including the AcquaMAV.
It was a lecture for about 20-25 students, from Italy and Israel. It was held on February 11, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.iaad.it/en/