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 autonomy 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 nuclear 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.
 
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 Members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee visit
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Committee Chair Norman Lamb was joined by fellow MPs Bill Grant, Stephen Metcalfe and former Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah, as well as Committee staff members. The visit was part of their inquiry into recreational and commercial drone use. MPs were welcomed by the Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley, who introduced them to Dr Mirko Kovac, Director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory. He then presented on Imperial's work on drone technology and the challenges facing his team and the wider sector. Dr Kovac outlined his research on the usage of drones for digital infrastructure systems, including diagnostics and repairs, both in the air and underwater. In response to questions from Sam Gyimah and Stephen Metcalfe, Dr Kovac explained that the use of drones for these purposes is widely accepted in the scientific community.
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/191908/mps-visit-imperials-aerial-robotics-lab/
 
Description Members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee visited the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Committee Chair Norman Lamb was joined by fellow MPs Bill Grant, Stephen Metcalfe and former Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah, as well as Committee staff members. The visit was part of their inquiry into recreational and commercial drone use. MPs were welcomed by the Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley, who introduced them to Dr Mirko Kovac, Director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory. He then presented on Imperial's work on drone technology and the challenges facing his team and the wider sector. Dr Kovac outlined his research on the usage of drones for digital infrastructure systems, including diagnostics and repairs, both in the air and underwater. In response to questions from Sam Gyimah and Stephen Metcalfe, Dr Kovac explained that the use of drones for these purposes is widely accepted in the scientific community.
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/191908/mps-visit-imperials-aerial-robotics-lab/
 
Description Misuse of civilian drones - POSTNOTE Number 610
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Drones are increasingly used for photography, agriculture, delivery and emergency response. However, travel disruption at UK airports due to drone sightings has renewed debate about their use. This note looks at civilian drones and their applications, focusing on potential misuse and possible responses.
URL http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/POST-PN-0610/POST-PN-0610.pdf
 
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 Public
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 Public
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 Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 04/2021
 
Description Robotic Ecosystems for Future Infrastructures
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
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 Terrain Flight Arena on TerriNet infrastructure with wide reach to European audience. 
Description A large enclosed 10x6.2x5.5m flight arena (Arena), equipped with 16 Vicon T40 tracking cameras, capable of tracking multiple flying objects in 6 degrees of freedom, with millimetre accuracy. Tracking data can be used for closed-loop control of vehicles. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 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. Researchers in the Arena are able to simulate different terrains in the air, the ocean and on land. The space also enables engineers to create extreme conditions such as fire, smoke and heat to simulate how the next generation of drones will perform in harsh environments. The research focus in Arena encompasses two main themes: (i) physical adaptation; (ii) cybernetics adaptation. The physical adaptation includes morphological changes in different environmental conditions for aerial and multi-terrain robots to land, perch, locomote or \"stay still\" in narrow and cluttered spaces. The cybernetical adaptation includes adjustments at the algorithmic level to maintain the stability, avoid the collisions and the track the safe and reliable trajectories. These activities are considered holistically with potential human interactions, neuroscience, and bio-inspiration. 
URL https://www.terrinet.eu/robotic_database_show_platform/?id=116
 
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 Academic/University 
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 Academic/University 
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 A new review, published today in Science Robotics and co-authored by Imperial researcher Dr Mirko Kovac, who directs the Aerial Robotics Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics, looks at the state-of-the-art in robot construction and where we need to go next to make a robot-built environment a reality. 
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 Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Robots that can transition from water to air are desirable in these situations, but the launch requires a lot of power, which has been difficult to achieve in small robots. Now, researchers at Imperial College London have invented a system that requires just 0.2 grams of calcium carbide powder in a combustion chamber. The only moving part is a small pump that brings in water from the environment the robot is sat in, such as a lake or ocean. The water and the calcium-carbide powder then combine in a reaction chamber, producing a burnable acetylene gas. As the gas ignites and expands, it pushes the water out as a jet, which propels the robot clear of the water and into a glide of up to 26 metres.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/190517/cities-future-could-built-robots-mimicking/
 
Description A new review, published today in Science Robotics and co-authored by Imperial researcher Dr Mirko Kovac, who directs the Aerial Robotics Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics, looks at the state-of-the-art in robot construction and where we need to go next to make a robot-built environment a reality. 
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 Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact It comes as the UKRI has announced £18m in funding to support digital transformation of the construction industry, of which Dr Kovac is a cooperating investigator on a project with UCL where his group will explore robotic platform solutions for collective robotic construction. The world is increasingly urban, and the researchers say that robots could be the perfect tools to help build and maintain new cities. Using robots should reduce human risk, allow tasks to be completed faster, and allow monitoring alongside construction - the robots could collect data on everything they are doing, helping to improve their practices.

Dr Kovac said: "The cities of the future could be built and maintained by groups of land-based and flying robots working together to construct, assess, and repair the urban ecosystem of buildings and infrastructure.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description As well as finding out more about threats to bees, researchers have been inspired to create bee-like drones and to protect our natural pollinators with the help of school students. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact As well as investigating the impact of pesticides on bees, Imperial researchers in the Aerial Robotics Lab have also been inspired by bees when creating drones. The drones' designs are inspired by nature: the flying robots will sense and swoop on damaged infrastructure like bees monitoring and building their hive. They can also alert nearby drones to an issue to rally a team response. Like many flying animals, the drones will also be soft and flexible to minimise impact damage to the building or the drones themselves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/191248/world-bee-day-buzz-around-imperials/
 
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 Imperial's Aerial Robotics Lab has been instrumental in launching a new type of drone that could fix wind farms without human help. 
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 Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The Lab is part of the international Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets hub (ORCA) which has developed a four-legged robot called Anymal that can walk around and replace humans on remote oil rigs or wind farms to perform maintenance tasks. The drone is equipped with a robotic arm that can attach itself to vertical structures, such as a wind turbine, to inspect it, hook onto a sensor, or carry out reparations independently. Lab lead Dr Mirko Kovac said: "The robots can visually inspect a turbine for integrity concerns and make contact, placing sensors on the infrastructure, or acting as a sensor itself, to assess the health of each asset. "Our technology could even deposit repair material for certain types of damage. This has far reaching applications including removing the need for humans to abseil down the side of turbines which can be both dangerous and expensive."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/193492/flyby-fixers-customer-care-news-from/
 
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 "Soft Aerial Robotics for Digital Infrastructure Systems" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Future infrastructure systems will evolve into complex ecosystems where autonomous aerial, aquatic and ground-based robots will coexist with people and cooperate in symbiosis. To create this human-robot ecosystem, robots will need to respond more flexibly, robustly and efficiently than they do today. They will need to be designed with the ability to move safely close to humans and in contact with infrastructure elements to perform sensing and intervention tasks. Their behaviours will need to be carefully orchestrated to integrate smoothly into the environment and in industry 4.0 workflows. Taking inspiration from natural systems, aerial robotic systems can integrate multi-functional morphology, new materials, energy-efficient locomotion principles and advanced perception abilities that will allow them to successfully operate and cooperate in these complex and dynamic environments. This talk will describe design principles and technologies for the development of biologically inspired flying robots with adaptive morphology that can perform monitoring and manufacturing tasks for infrastructure and building systems. Examples will include flying robots with perching and aerial sensor-placement abilities, aerial-aquatic drones, drones with compliant landing systems for landing on autonomous cars, drones for aerial construction and repair, and origami-based drones for safe interactions with infrastructure elements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://web.fe.up.pt/~robot2019/index.php/invited-speakers
 
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 Members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee visited the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Committee Chair Norman Lamb was joined by fellow MPs Bill Grant, Stephen Metcalfe and former Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah, as well as Committee staff members. The visit was part of their inquiry into recreational and commercial drone use.

MPs were welcomed by the Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley, who introduced them to Dr Mirko Kovac, Director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory. He then presented on Imperial's work on drone technology and the challenges facing his team and the wider sector.

Dr Kovac outlined his research on the usage of drones for digital infrastructure systems, including diagnostics and repairs, both in the air and underwater. In response to questions from Sam Gyimah and Stephen Metcalfe, Dr Kovac explained that the use of drones for these purposes is widely accepted in the scientific community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/191908/mps-visit-imperials-aerial-robotics-lab/
 
Description News Article (Blick) : Roboter hüpft wie Flugfisch über Wasserflächen. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Direkt aus dem Wasser in die Luft: Forschende präsentieren eine Art "Flugfisch"- Roboter, der von der Wasseroberfläche starten und gleiten kann. Nützlich wären solche Roboter beispielsweise zur Überwachung von Meeresgebieten.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.blick.ch/news/technik-roboter-huepft-wie-flugfisch-ueber-wasserflaechen-id15512271.html
 
Description News Article (BusinessStandard) : Robots could build future cities by mimicking nature: Study. News story from "A review of collective robotic construction". 
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 Cities of the future could be built and repaired by robots and drones mimicking the tactics of nature, according to a study.

Using robots should reduce human risk, allow tasks to be completed faster and monitoring alongside construction.

The robots could collect data on everything they are doing, helping to improve their practices, according to the study published in the journal Science Robotics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/robots-could-build-future-cities-by-mimicking-...
 
Description News Article (Chemical&EngineeringNews) : Calcium carbide powers water-leaping robot. Researchers harness simple chemistry to propel this robot out of the water and into the air. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Robots that can navigate different types of terrain could help scientists collect information in hard-to-reach places. That navigation can be tricky, however. For example, launching a robot from the water into the air consumes a lot of energy. Taking inspiration from creatures such as the flying squid, researchers at Imperial College London have developed a robot that can propel itself through the air from an aquatic starting point (Sci. Rob. 2019, DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aax7330). Unlike previous water-leaping robots that rely on heavy compressed gas canisters or external power sources to achieve flight, the new glider uses a lightweight solid fuel-calcium carbide. A small pump on board draws water from the robot's surroundings, allowing the water to react with the calcium carbide to produce acetylene gas. When the gas is ignited, the robot launches into the air via a jet of water and combustion products. The robot can also glide through the air, extending its maximum range to 26 meters. It can carry enough fuel for 10 consecutive launches; when it lands, the chamber begins to refill until it reaches its optimal launch angle, at which point it takes off again. The time between launches-currently about 20 minutes-could be used to collect data or water samples. Raphael Zufferey, the engineer who co-led the new study, says the robot could be used to collect data around icebergs, during floods, or in polluted waters.

Giuliana Viglione: This robot can launch itself from the water into the air. Robots like this one that can navigate over different terrains could help scientists collect data in hard-to-reach places. This leaping robot uses a solid fuel called calcium carbide. A small pump on board draws water from its surroundings, and the water then reacts with the calcium carbide to produce combustible acetylene gas. When the gas is ignited, the robot flies into the air, propelled by a jet of water and combustion products. Once airborne, the robot can glide up to 26 meters. When it lands, the chamber begins to refill with water to prepare for relaunch. It can do this 10 times in a row before needing to be refueled.

The Imperial College London researchers who built the bot say it could be used to collect data or water samples in polar regions, during floods, or in polluted waters.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://cen.acs.org/analytical-chemistry/Calcium-carbide-powers-water-leaping/97/i37
 
Description News Article (FoxNews) : 'Flying fish' robot propels itself out of water and glides through the air. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 A bio-inspired robot can use water from the environment to launch itself into the air, British researchers revealed.

The robot can travel 85 feet through the air after taking off and researchers believe it could be used to collect samples in hazardous or otherwise cluttered environments, such as during a major flood.

Researchers from the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at Imperial College London devised a system that requires only 0.2 grams of calcium carbide powder in a combusion chamber, with the only moving part being a small pump that delivers water from the environment where the robot sits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.foxnews.com/tech/flying-fish-robot-propels-water-glides-air
 
Description News Article (FromPress) : Flying fish' drone actually explodes out of the water. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Drones that can both swim and fly are no longer in the distant future. Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab built a concept for multimodal swimming robot it calls AquaMAV that can jump out of water. The scientists behind AquaMAV presented their findings in a paper published this week in Science Robotics.
Source: https://pressfrom.info/us/news/science-and-technology/-323221-flying-fish-drone-actually-explodes-out-of-the-water.
According to IEE Spectrum, the AquaMAV combines combustible power and water in order to propel itself. The drone contains calcium carbide powder. When mixed with water, the drone creates acetylene gas, which then gets funneled into a combustion chamber along with air and water. When ignited, the mixture then explodes, forcing the water out of the combustion chamber and propelling the drone into air.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://pressfrom.info/us/news/science-and-technology/-323221-flying-fish-drone-actually-explodes-ou...
 
Description News Article (IEEE SPECTRUM) : Water Jet Powered Drone Takes Off With Explosions To take off from the water, this drone uses an explosion-powered water jet. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 At ICRA 2015, the Aerial Robotics Lab at the Imperial College London presented a concept for a multimodal flying swimming robot called AquaMAV. The really difficult thing about a flying and swimming robot isn't so much the transition from the first to the second, since you can manage that even if your robot is completely dead (thanks to gravity), but rather the other way: going from water to air, ideally in a stable and repetitive way. The AquaMAV concept solved this by basically just applying as much concentrated power as possible to the problem, using a jet thruster to hurl the robot out of the water with quite a bit of velocity to spare.

In a paper appearing in Science Robotics this week, the roboticists behind AquaMAV present a fully operational robot that uses a solid-fuel powered chemical reaction to generate an explosion that powers the robot into the air.
The 2015 version of AquaMAV, which was mostly just some very vintage-looking computer renderings and a little bit of hardware, used a small cylinder of CO2 to power its water jet thruster. This worked pretty well, but the mass and complexity of the storage and release mechanism for the compressed gas wasn't all that practical for a flying robot designed for long-term autonomy. It's a familiar challenge, especially for pneumatically powered soft robots-how do you efficiently generate gas on-demand, especially if you need a lot of pressure all at once?

An explosion propels the drone out of the water
There's one obvious way of generating large amounts of pressurized gas all at once, and that's explosions. We've seen robots use explosive thrust for mobility before, at a variety of scales, and it's very effective as long as you can both properly harness the explosion and generate the fuel with a minimum of fuss, and this latest version of AquaMAV manages to do both:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/drones/water-jet-powered-drone-takes-off-with-explosion...
 
Description News Article (Infosurhoy) : flying fish robot uses gas to launch itself 26-metres-out-of-water-and-into-the-air. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Fish out of water for environmental researchers, using robots to collect much-needed water samples can be tricky.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://robotics.altmetric.com/details/66446214/news
 
Description News Article (NyTechnik) : En kemisk reaktion får den motorlösa farkosten att flyga. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Den lilla glidflygaren kastar sig ur vattnet och kan färdas 26 meter. Drivkraften är en kemisk reaktion, och kalciumkarbiden räcker till 20 hopp. Nu ska den skalas upp.

Glidflygplanet får plats i handflatan, och med sin storlek är flygförmågan på upp till 26 meter imponerande. Farkosten har dock ingen motor utan innehåller bara en rörlig del - en pump. Roboten utgår från vattenytan och drivkraften kommer från en kemisk reaktion mellan kalciumkarbid och vatten.

Vatten pumpas in i en huvudkammare och en liten del överförs med häverteffekt till en mindre kammare som innehåller kalciumkarbidpulver. Den kemiska reaktionen bildar acetylengas som tvingas in i huvudkammaren och antänds. Kraften hos förbränningen skjuter ut det vatten som finns kvar vilket skickar upp farkosten i skyn.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nyteknik.se/fordon/en-kemisk-reaktion-far-den-motorlosa-farkosten-att-flyga-6971542
 
Description News Article (PopularMechanics) : This Glider Is Powered by a Chemical Reaction-Not an Engine. Science is beautiful.. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Roboticists at Imperial College London and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology have developed a new type of glider that swiftly jumps from sea to air like a flying fish. The small aerial-aquatic glider, which can fit in the palm of your hands, uses a chemical reaction to propel itself out of the water.

Water is pumped into a master chamber, and then siphoned into another, smaller chamber containing calcium carbide powder. This chemical reaction creates acetylene gas, which is forced into the main chamber and ignited. The force of this ignition quickly expels water in the chamber, sending the vehicle into the air.

Similar robots-like the robotic bee that the team of scientists previously worked on-have used either tethered systems of power or are propelled by internal engines or compressed gas. This newest vehicle, however, has a very simple design with only one moving part: the pump.

"It doesn't need any pistons or valves, which are typical for combustion processes or internal combustion engines," lead roboticist Mirko Kovac tells Popular Mechanics. "It uses the property of the fluid, the gas, the water, and this reaction to create the various stages of the combustion."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/robots/a29003643/glider-robot-chemical-reaction/
 
Description News Article (ScientificAmercian) : Drenchable Drones, Prickly Cells and Face-Tracked Chimps: Science GIFs to Start Your Week. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Drones and water usually do not mix. (Indeed, some of the most popular drone videos on YouTube feature "epic" water saves.) But a new drone developed by researchers in England is made to move from sea to sky-and back again. This fixed-wing flyer uses a burst of gas to launch out of the water. The researchers say the abilities of Japanese flying squid inspired their design.
The amphibious glider can stay afloat, even if the sea is a little choppy (big waves are a problem, though). When it is ready to fly, a water-intake system lets it adjust its angle in preparation for takeoff-and it can fly up to 85 feet after launching from the drink. The researchers hope to bring their jump glider (or future evolutions of the prototype) into rough environments, such as natural disaster zones, to do sampling and monitoring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/drenchable-drones-prickly-cells-and-face-tracked-chimps-s...
 
Description News Article (TAGBLATT) : Roboter hüpft wie Flugfisch über Wasserflächen. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Direkt aus dem Wasser in die Luft: Forschende präsentieren eine Art <>- Roboter, der von der Wasseroberfläche starten und gleiten kann. Nützlich wären solche Roboter beispielsweise zur Überwachung von Meeresgebieten.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.tagblatt.ch/newsticker/schweiz/roboter-hupft-wie-flugfisch-uber-wasserflachen-ld.1151218
 
Description News Article (TechXplore) : Cities of the future could be built by robots mimicking nature. News story from "A review of collective robotic construction". 
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 Cities of the future could be built by robots mimicking nature. A new review, published today in Science Robotics and co-authored by Imperial researcher Dr. Mirko Kovac, who directs the Aerial Robotics Laboratory in the Department of Aeronautics, looks at the state-of-the-art in robot construction and where we need to go next to make a robot-built environment a reality.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://techxplore.com/news/2019-03-cities-future-built-robots-mimicking.html
 
Description News Article (The Hindu) : Can robots build future cities? Using robots should reduce human risk, allow tasks to be completed faster and monitoring alongside construction. News story from "A review of collective robotic construction". 
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 Cities of the future could be built and repaired by robots and drones mimicking the tactics of nature, according to a study.

Using robots should reduce human risk, allow tasks to be completed faster and monitoring alongside construction.

The robots could collect data on everything they are doing, helping to improve their practices, according to the study published in the journal Science Robotics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/can-robots-build-future-cities/article26563528.ec...
 
Description News Article (XINHUANET) : Engineers invent tiny "flying fish" robot floating on rough waves. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Engineers at Imperial College London have invented a tiny "flying fish" robot that can use water to create a gas and launch itself from the water's surface, the university said in a release on Wednesday.

The study published in Science Robotics journal described a bio-inspired robot that can travel 26 meters through the air after take-off, which can be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution.

The only moving part of the robot is a small pump that brings in water from the environment, such as a lake or an ocean. It has 0.2 grams of calcium carbide powder in a combustion chamber.

The water and the powder combine to produce a burnable acetylene gas, and the gas, when ignited, could push the water out as a jet, propelling the robot into a glide, according to the study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/12/c_138386536.htm
 
Description News Article (cash) : Roboter hüpft wie Flugfisch über Wasserflächen. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Direkt aus dem Wasser in die Luft: Forschende präsentieren eine Art "Flugfisch"- Roboter, der von der Wasseroberfläche starten und gleiten kann. Nützlich wären solche Roboter beispielsweise zur Überwachung von Meeresgebieten.
Der Start aus dem Wasser in die Luft ist für kleine Roboter eine knifflige Sache, weil er viel Energie benötigt. Das Team um Mirko Kovac von der Forschungsanstalt Empa und dem Imperial College London hat deshalb ein neues, besonders leichtes Antriebssystem entwickelt und mit einem Roboter getestet, wie die Empa am Donnerstag mitteilte.

Das Antriebssystem benötigt nur 0,2 Gramm Calciumcarbidpulver in einer Brennkammer. Eine kleine Pumpe bringt das Umgebungswasser in einer Reaktionskammer mit dem Pulver zusammen. Dadurch entsteht brennbares Acetylengas.

Wenn das Gas entzündet wird und sich ausdehnt, drückt es das Wasser als Antriebsstrahl heraus. Das ermöglicht den Start von der Wasseroberfläche und einen Gleitflug von rund 26 Metern, wie die Forschenden im Fachblatt "Science Robotics" berichteten. Wenn sich sein Wassertank dann wieder passiv füllt, kann er ein weiteres Mal "hüpfen".

Das Forschungsteam testete den Roboter im Labor, in einem See und in einem Wellentank, wie die Empa schrieb. Auch bei Wellengang kann der Roboter demnach abheben.
Interessant wäre der Einsatz eines solchen Antriebs beispielsweise bei Robotern, die bei Überschwemmungen Wasserproben sammeln oder die Umweltverschmutzung bei Korallenriffen oder um Offshore-Plattformen herum beobachten sollen: Der "Flugfisch" könnte selbstständig über die Wasserfläche gleiten und an mehreren Orten Proben entnehmen. Im Vergleich zu elektrisch angetriebenen Robotern würde der neu entwickelte Antrieb über grössere Distanzen deutlich Energie sparen.

In einem nächsten Schritt wollen die Empa-Forschenden und ihre Kollegen nun Roboter aus verschiedenen Materialien entwickeln, sowie den Roboter in verschiedenen Umgebungen weiter testen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.cash.ch/news/roboter-huepft-wie-flugfisch-ueber-wasserflaechen-1397757
 
Description News Article (futurism) : WATCH A ROBOT FISH FLY BY SHOOTING WATER OUT OF ITS REAR. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Fish Out Of Water
For environmental researchers, using robots to collect much-needed water samples can be tricky. The bot might have trouble navigating around trash while collecting samples from polluted waters, for example, or avoiding ice.

Now, researchers from Imperial College London have created a robot fish that can get around such obstacles - by propelling itself over them using a stream of water pushed out its rear end.

Full Of Gas
The researchers detail their creation of the flying robot fish in a paper published in the journal Science Robotics on Wednesday.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://futurism.com/the-byte/watch-robot-fish-fly-shooting-water-rear
 
Description News Article (heise online) : Fliegender Roboterfisch: Roboter schießt sich aus dem Wasser. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Forscher in Großbritannien haben einen Roboter entwickelt, der sich aus Wasser in die Luft schießen und dann gleiten kann. Das ist äußerst praktisch.
Ein Roboter, der gleichermaßen fliegen und schwimmen kann, wäre ideal, um etwa nach einem Unfall in einem Atomkraftwerk oder einem Chemiebetrieb in kurzer Zeit Proben an mehreren Orten zu entnehmen. Die größte Herausforderung dabei besteht darin, aus dem Wasser wieder in die Luft zu kommen. Britische Forscher haben jetzt eine Lösung präsentiert. Aus dem Wasser schießen
Wie das Forschungsteam um Mirko Kovac vom Imperial College London in der aktuellen Ausgabe von Science Robotics berichtet, gelingt der Start aus dem Wasser mithilfe eines Düsenantriebs. Als Treibstoff führt der Roboter Calciumcarbid mit, das mit Wasser reagiert und Acetylen erzeugt. Das wiederum wird in einer Brennkammer elektrisch gezündet und presst einen Wasserstrahl durch eine Düse, der den Roboter in die Luft schleudert. Der geht dort in den Gleitflug über. Mit 53 Milligramm Calciumcarbid habe der 160 Gramm schwere Roboter auf diese Weise 26 Meter fliegend zurückgelegt, berichten die Wissenschaftler.

Die 491 Milliliter große Brennkammer, die zu 40 Prozent mit Wasser gefüllt ist, werde dabei innerhalb von 0,2 Sekunden durch eine 6,8 Millimeter große Düse geleert. Danach gehe der Roboter, der wie ein Flugzeug gestaltet ist, in den Gleitflug über. Da die Schubkraft mehr als das 25-fache des Eigengewichts des Roboters betrage, gelinge der Start auch, bei unruhiger Wasseroberfläche, wie sich bei 22 Flugversuchen im Labor und im Freien gezeigt habe.
Damit der Roboter sowohl den angetriebenen Flug wie auch den Gleitflug bewältigen sowie auf der Wasseroberfläche sinnvoll operieren kann, seien beim Design einige Kompromisse nötig gewesen, schreiben die Forscher. Je nach Operationsmodus sei etwa die optimale Position des Schwerpunktes unterschiedlich gewesen. Für einen einsatztauglichen Roboter müsste das Design angepasst werden. So könnte etwa die Zeit für das Füllen der Brennkammer mit Wasser durch ein Ventil verkürzt werden, was aber das Gewicht erhöhen würde. Ein Propeller würde die Reichweite im Flugmodus erhöhen. Um überhaupt erst einmal aus dem Wasser zu kommen, scheint der einfache und robuste Düsenantrieb aber eine sehr gut geeignete Methode zu sein. (mho)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Fliegender-Roboterfisch-Roboter-schiesst-sich-aus-dem-Wasser...
 
Description News Article (hindustantimes) : Robots could build future cities by mimicking nature: Study. News story from "A review of collective robotic construction". 
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 Cities of the future could be built and repaired by robots and drones mimicking the tactics of nature, according to a study. Using robots should reduce human risk, allow tasks to be completed faster and monitoring alongside construction. The robots could collect data on everything they are doing, helping to improve their practices, according to the study published in the journal Science Robotics.
Many animals in groups take cues from and leverage their environment when constructing or repairing their homes. For example, termites, which live in large 'super-organism' colonies, rely on pheromones excreted during deposition of materials to coordinate construction. Analysing these methods of coordination can help researchers design algorithms for how groups of robots and drones could autonomously work together during construction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.hindustantimes.com/sex-and-relationships/robots-could-build-future-cities-by-mimicking-n...
 
Description News Article (ibtimes) : Flying Fish Robot From London Could Become The Future Of Sea Travel. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 ove out RC boats; there's a new fish in town! Scientists at the Imperial College of London have developed a leaping, farting fish-bot that that can be used to monitor reefs or ice floes.

In a report by the Daily Star, the flying-fish automaton can swim, glide and skip rough waters thanks to its high-powered propulsion system. Mirko Kovac, the director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the Imperial College in London, said that the robot could transition from water to air in seconds.

Kovac said that its locomotive principle is based on the "flying fish." According to the bot's blueprints from the journal Science Robotics, the 160-gram fish-bot can manage a flight distance of 26 meters "using 0.2 grams of fuel."

It uses calcium carbide pellets with the water it's swimming in to produce acetylene gas. The combustible element turns the miniature "fish" into a gliding, farting jet that can operate in short intervals.

Kovac added that the automaton could be useful as an observation tool. He said that the small device could "be used for reef monitoring or arctic sea monitoring."

Scientist at the Imperial College of London believes that it could be the future of sea travel. Kovac noted that the method they presented would allow several amphibious vehicles to transition out of the water temporarily.

The technology would allow seafarers to navigate under challenging terrains such as rocks and icebergs. It would render traditional aquatic vehicles obsolete if ever the technology pushes through the market.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ibtimes.com/flying-fish-robot-london-could-become-future-sea-travel-2839144
 
Description News Article (innovationsreport) : <>-Roboter kann tauchen und fliegen. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Ein bio-inspirierter Roboter nutzt Wasser aus der Umwelt, um ein Antriebsgas zu erzeugen und von der Wasseroberfläche zu starten. Der Roboter wurde von Forschern des <> entwickelt. Er kann nach dem Start rund 26 Meter weit fliegen und könnte zur Entnahme von Wasserproben in gefährlichen und unübersichtlichen Umgebungen wie bei Überschwemmungen oder bei der Überwachung der Meeresverschmutzung eingesetzt werden, berichtet das Team um Mirko Kovac, der auch das gemeinsame <> an der Empa leitet, in der neuesten Ausgabe des Fachmagazins <>.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/energie-elektrotechnik/flugfisch-roboter-kann-tauche...
 
Description News Article (msn) : 'Flying fish' drone actually explodes out of the water. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
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 Drones that can both swim and fly are no longer in the distant future. Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab built a concept for multimodal swimming robot it calls AquaMAV that can jump out of water. The scientists behind AquaMAV presented their findings in a paper published this week in Science Robotics.
According to IEE Spectrum, the AquaMAV combines combustible power and water in order to propel itself. The drone contains calcium carbide powder. When mixed with water, the drone creates acetylene gas, which then gets funneled into a combustion chamber along with air and water. When ignited, the mixture then explodes, forcing the water out of the combustion chamber and propelling the drone into air.

The AquaMAV can fly up to 26 meters in the air, and creates so much force it can even propel itself out of choppy waters. Scientists believe it can be used to collect water samples during natural disasters such as floods or to monitor ocean pollution. You can watch the AquaMAV in action in the video below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/flying-fish-drone-actually-explodes-out-of-the-water/ar-AA...
 
Description News Article (suedostschweiz) : Roboter hüpft wie Flugfisch über Wasserflächen. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Direkt aus dem Wasser in die Luft: Forschende präsentieren eine Art <>- Roboter, der von der Wasseroberfläche starten und gleiten kann. Nützlich wären solche Roboter beispielsweise zur Überwachung von Meeresgebieten.
Der Start aus dem Wasser in die Luft ist für kleine Roboter eine knifflige Sache, weil er viel Energie benötigt. Das Team um Mirko Kovac von der Forschungsanstalt Empa und dem Imperial College London hat deshalb ein neues, besonders leichtes Antriebssystem entwickelt und mit einem Roboter getestet, wie die Empa am Donnerstag mitteilte.

Das Antriebssystem benötigt nur 0,2 Gramm Calciumcarbidpulver in einer Brennkammer. Eine kleine Pumpe bringt das Umgebungswasser in einer Reaktionskammer mit dem Pulver zusammen. Dadurch entsteht brennbares Acetylengas.

Wenn das Gas entzündet wird und sich ausdehnt, drückt es das Wasser als Antriebsstrahl heraus. Das ermöglicht den Start von der Wasseroberfläche und einen Gleitflug von rund 26 Metern, wie die Forschenden im Fachblatt <> berichteten. Wenn sich sein Wassertank dann wieder passiv füllt, kann er ein weiteres Mal <>.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.suedostschweiz.ch/wirtschaft/2019-09-12/roboter-huepft-wie-flugfisch-ueber-wasserflaeche...
 
Description News Article (swissinfo) : Roboter hüpft wie Flugfisch über Wasserflächen. News story from "Consecutive aquatic jump-gliding with water-reactive fuel". 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Direkt aus dem Wasser in die Luft: Forschende präsentieren eine Art "Flugfisch"- Roboter, der von der Wasseroberfläche starten und gleiten kann. Nützlich wären solche Roboter beispielsweise zur Überwachung von Meeresgebieten.

Der Start aus dem Wasser in die Luft ist für kleine Roboter eine knifflige Sache, weil er viel Energie benötigt. Das Team um Mirko Kovac von der Forschungsanstalt Empa und dem Imperial College London hat deshalb ein neues, besonders leichtes Antriebssystem entwickelt und mit einem Roboter getestet, wie die Empa am Donnerstag mitteilte.

Das Antriebssystem benötigt nur 0,2 Gramm Calciumcarbidpulver in einer Brennkammer. Eine kleine Pumpe bringt das Umgebungswasser in einer Reaktionskammer mit dem Pulver zusammen. Dadurch entsteht brennbares Acetylengas.
Wenn das Gas entzündet wird und sich ausdehnt, drückt es das Wasser als Antriebsstrahl heraus. Das ermöglicht den Start von der Wasseroberfläche und einen Gleitflug von rund 26 Metern, wie die Forschenden im Fachblatt "Science Robotics" berichteten. Wenn sich sein Wassertank dann wieder passiv füllt, kann er ein weiteres Mal "hüpfen".

Das Forschungsteam testete den Roboter im Labor, in einem See und in einem Wellentank, wie die Empa schrieb. Auch bei Wellengang kann der Roboter demnach abheben.

Interessant wäre der Einsatz eines solchen Antriebs beispielsweise bei Robotern, die bei Überschwemmungen Wasserproben sammeln oder die Umweltverschmutzung bei Korallenriffen oder um Offshore-Plattformen herum beobachten sollen: Der "Flugfisch" könnte selbstständig über die Wasserfläche gleiten und an mehreren Orten Proben entnehmen. Im Vergleich zu elektrisch angetriebenen Robotern würde der neu entwickelte Antrieb über grössere Distanzen deutlich Energie sparen.

In einem nächsten Schritt wollen die Empa-Forschenden und ihre Kollegen nun Roboter aus verschiedenen Materialien entwickeln, sowie den Roboter in verschiedenen Umgebungen weiter testen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.swissinfo.ch/ger/roboter-huepft-wie-flugfisch-ueber-wasserflaechen/45223598
 
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 Radio interview for BBC Earth feature on bio-inspired drones: The birds, the bees and the robots 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Radio interview for BBC Earth feature on bio-inspired drones: How biology is influencing technology to help us better understand nature.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbcearth.com/blog/?article=the-birds-the-bees-and-the-robots
 
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 Technology Demonstration for SberBank 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Demonstrated the pipeline repair using aerial robots for the visiting group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
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 Visit from Felicity Buchan MP, South Kensington 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Local Member of Parliament Felicity Buchan, visited our lab and shown interest to our developed technology. She has also suggested to employ some of the drone technology for infrastructure inspection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
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/