Advancements in Aerial Physical Interaction: Design, Control, and Collaboration

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IRISA Rennes
Marco Tognon


Embark on a journey into Aerial Physical Interaction (APhI), where aerial robotics meets physical prowess, seeking autonomous flying systems capable of manipulating the environment. Motivated by a vision of enhancing precision and robustness, this research addresses pivotal challenges in mechatronic design, dynamic planning, and stable control.

The presentation unfolds in three key dimensions of contribution. Firstly, it spotlights elevating precision in single aerial robot manipulation, showcasing millimeter-precision achievements despite real-world uncertainties. Secondly, it explores collaborative multi-robot operations, introducing collaborative strategies for multi-aerial robot manipulation. Lastly, the research delves into Human-Aerial Robot Collaboration, initiating with tethered aerial vehicles guiding humans and envisioning a future of close collaboration.

Acknowledging the current gap between capabilities and real-world applications, the presentation outlines a visionary research plan. Future perspectives include advanced mechatronic design, precise and robust control facing uncertainties, and efficient multi-robot coordination. Human-Aerial Robot Interaction emerges as a focal point, promising safer, adaptive, and socially acceptable collaborations in both remote interactions and physical engagements.

In summary, this HDR manuscript presentation offers a succinct journey through groundbreaking research, propelling Aerial Physical Interaction into a realm where imagination converges with reality.


From November 2022 Dr. Marco Tognon is a tenured researcher at Centre Inria de l'Université de Rennes, France, in the Rainbow team. Before he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Autonomous System Lab (ASL) at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He received the Ph.D. degree in Robotics in 2018, from INSA Toulouse, France, developing his thesis at LAAS-CNRS. His thesis has been awarded with three prizes. He received the M.Sc. degree in automation engineering in 2014, from the University of Padua, Italy, with a master thesis carried out at MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Tubingen, Germany.

He published more than 25 journal papers, and he is coordinator of the ANR project AirHandyBot. He serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Transaction of Robotics and as Area Chair for RSS2023. He is also junior co-chair for the IEEE TC Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
His current research interests include robotics, aerial physical interaction, multi-robot systems, and human-robot physical interaction

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Composition of the jury
Mirko Kovac Professor, Imperial College London, UK
Kim Jin Professor, Seoul National University, Korea
Jacques Gangloff Professor, University of Strasbourg, France
Paolo Robuffo Giordano Directeur de recherche, CNRS-IRISA, France
Antonio Franchi Professor, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Ruggero Carli Professor, University of Padova, Italy