Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Autonomous, Agile, Vision-controlled Drones: from Frame to Event Vision

Speaker: 
Davide Scaramuzza, ETH Zurich and University of Zurich
Location: 
B205 Engineering Quadrangle
Date/Time: 
Monday, April 16, 2018 - 4:30pm

Abstract:
Davide Scaramuzza 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.

Bio:
Davide Scaramuzza (born in 1980, Italian) is Tenured Associate Professor of Robotics and Perception at both departments of Informatics (University of Zurich) and Neuroinformatics (ETH Zurich and 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 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, Misha Mahowald Neuromorphic Engineering Award, the SNSF-ERC Starting Grant (equivalent to NSF Career Award), a Google Research Award, the European Young Researcher Award, and several conference 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. Furthermore, I was invited to speak at TEDxZurich.