PRG Seminar Series


Robotics And Computer Vision

Autonomous Drone Racing

Video is available here.


Davide Scaramuzza

Professor of Robotics and Perception

Department of Neuroinformatics, ETH Zurich & University of Zurich and

Department of Informatics, University of Zurich

Friday, October 26, 2018

2:00 PM

J.M. Patterson 2121


Autonomous quadrotors will soon play a major role in search-and-rescue and remote-inspection missions, where a fast response is crucial. Quadrotors have the potential to navigate quickly through unstructured environments, enter and exit buildings through narrow gaps, and fly through collapsed buildings. However, their speed and maneuverability are still far from those of birds. Indeed, agile navigation through unknown, indoor environments poses a number of challenges for robotics research in terms of perception, state estimation, planning, and control. In this talk, I will show that active vision is crucial in order to plan trajectories that improve the quality of perception. Also, I will talk about our recent results on event based vision to enable low latency sensory motor control and navigation in low light and high dynamic environment, where traditional vision sensor fail.


Prof. Davide Scaramuzza is professor of robotics and perception at both departments of Neuroinformatics (ETH Zurich and University of Zurich) and Informatics (University of Zurich), where he does research at the intersection of robotics, computer vision, and neuroscience. He did his PhD in robotics and computer vision at ETH Zurich (with Roland Siegwart) and a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania (with Vijay Kumar and Kostas Daniilidis). From 2009 to 2012, he led the European project sFly, which introduced the PX4 autopilot and pioneered visual-SLAM–based autonomous navigation of micro drones. For his research contributions, he was awarded the prestigious IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, the Misha Mahowald Neuromorphic Engineering Award, the SNSF-ERC Starting Grant (equivalent to NSF Career Award), Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and KUKA awards, as well as several conference and journal paper awards. He coauthored the book “Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots” (published by MIT Press) and more than 100 papers on robotics and perception. In 2015, he cofounded a venture, called Zurich-Eye, dedicated to the commercialization of visual-inertial navigation solutions for mobile robots, which later became Facebook-Oculus VR Switzerland. He was also the strategic advisor of Dacuda, an ETH spinoff dedicated to inside-out VR solutions, which later became Magic Leap Zurich. Many aspects of his research have been prominently featured in the popular press, such as Discovery Channel, BBC, IEEE Spectrum, MIT Technology Review Magazine.