Robotics and Advanced Automation

This group focuses on applied research, technology and development (RTD) activities for ground, aerial or space robotics and automation. The group also undertakes RTD in intelligent systems and its applicability to aviation and space systems and operations. The spin-off knowledge is applied to and from transport and mobility as well as environment and energy sectors.

Our areas of expertise are:

  • Systems engineering and mechatronics integration for robotic systems with special emphasis on Light Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Light UAS).
  • Electronics engineering for development and integration of embedded smart sensors and data processing in the field of robotics and systems automation.
  • Perception technologies for situational awareness (SA), including processing and fusion of multimodal cues, textual or virtual/mixed reality environments.
  • Interaction technologies for human-system or system-system interfaces, including haptics and communications aspects for local or remote operations.
  • Intelligent systems engineering using soft computing and multi-agent systems, knowledge engineering and representation, planning and scheduling, data mining and warehousing, or decision-support systems.


Reference projects:

  • LIFT – systems engineering for an end-to-end development of a lightweight and modular UAS, with a standardised payload bay with dedicated on-board computing resources. With the participation of Vehicles and Environment (VE) & Safety-Critical Software and Control (SC) groups.
  • AquilesROI – implementation of an intuitive human-system interface for remote monitoring and control of a rover designed for hazardous tasks.
  • SAAO/HFDC – state-of-the-art review in SA for air traffic control (ATC) during low visibility conditions in airports, and analysis for enhanced pilot navigation with the use of deployed airport sensors. With the participation of VE group.
  • CAMP – research in agent-based models and algorithms for collaborative and autonomous mission planning of a network of UAS.
  • GEMA – investigation of innovative concepts for increasing flight segment autonomy by providing a flexible communications infrastructure. With the participation of Navigations and Communications (NC) group.
  • Multi·Matheria – implementation of soft computing techniques to evaluate and forecast passenger comfort relative to new introduced cabin materials. With the participation with VE group.


Laboratory equipment:

  • Software tools virtual engineering and rapid prototyping, e.g. Matlab/Simulink.
  • Software tools for source code versioning in software/firmware developments.
  • Commercial-off-the-shelf light UAS platforms.
  • Mechanical multi-axial test-bench for control systems.