CONSORTIUM

This previous approach is presented by the AL-Robotics consortium. Our consortium combines the academic excellence and 20 years of expertise in aerial robotics of GRVC at University of Seville with the technological capabilities and equipment of the technology center FADA-CATEC and the industrial expertise of GMV in ground robots (supported by CAR-UPM regarding the grasping task). They have also expertise in competitions such as the FP7 EUROC Challenge 3 (Univ. Sevilla and FADA-CATEC), the ARGOS (Autonomous Robot for Gas and Oil Sites) Total Challenge (GMV), FP7 euRathlon (FADA-CATEC), the AIRBUS Blue Box (Univ. Sevilla), the FP7 EUROC Challenge 2 (CAR-UPM) and the European Space Agency (ESA) Lunar Robotics Challenge (GMV/CAR-UPM). In the following the main characteristics of these partners in relation with the MBZIRC challenges are mentioned.

Name Acronym Country
AICIA-Universidad de Sevilla, Robotics, Vision and Control (Coordinator) GRVC Spain
The Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies FADA-CATEC Spain
GMV GMV Spain

 

The Robotics, Vision and Control Group (GRVC) (http://grvc.us.es) at AICIA-Universidad de Sevilla led by Professor Anibal Ollero is a leader in aerial robotics and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). GRVC has almost 20 years of expertise and has successfully performed tens of projects on these topics generating worldwide innovations. In 2014 GRVC together with CATEC was working in 35 contracts dealing with aerial robotics and UAS in 23 different projects. Prof. Ollero, coordinator of the AL-Robotics team, has led many successful projects related to the MBZIRC challenges. GRVC was the coordinator of the European FP5 COMETS (http://www.comets-uavs.org/) project (2002-2005) that demonstrated experimentally more than 10 years ago the coordination of multiple aerial vehicles and its application to fire detection and monitoring. In the same years GRVC also conducted the CROMAT (http://grvc.us.es/cromat/) Spanish project on the cooperation of aerial and ground robots, including the transportation of the UAV by the ground robot and the landing of the aerial robot on the ground robot. Later, coordinated the European FP6 AWARE project that demonstrated for the first time worldwide the joint transportation of a load by three autonomous helicopters in addition of the transportation of a load by a single helicopter. Professor Ollero is currently the coordinator of the FP7 EC-SAFEMOBIL project (http://www.ec-safemobil-project.eu/) that has demonstrated the landing of an autonomous helicopter on a moving platform, and also the safe tracking of multiple targets with multiple UAVs. Moreover he is also the coordinator of the FP7 ARCAS (http://www.arcas-project.eu/) that demonstrated for the first time worldwide general aerial manipulation functionalities by means of aerial robots (multi-rotor systems and helicopters) with 6 and 7 DoF arms. In the H2020 project AEROARMS (http://www.aeroarms-project.eu/), also led by Professor Ollero, the first aerial robots with bilateral manipulation capabilities (two arms with multiple joints) has been designed and developed. GRVC is also leading the participation in the EUROC aerial robotics challenge dealing with the application of a system of multiple aerial robots for detection of parts and transportation of loads in aircraft manufacturing plants of AIRBUS DS where the team GRVC- CATEC has obtained the second position in the Challenge 3 Plant Servicing and Inspection. Members of GRVC are also participating in the AIRBUS Blue Box competition. In addition of the Prof. Ollero other two key persons of the team are Prof. Ivan Maza, specialist in the cooperation of multiple aerial robots, and Prof. Fernando Caballero, specialist in sensing and perception for aerial robots. AICIA will manage the participation of the University of Sevilla Researchers in the Challenges.


The Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (FADA-CATEC) (http://www.catec.aero) is an aerospace technology center created in 2008 in which UAS play an important role. It has excellent facilities for the development and experimentation including an indoor testbed of 16m x16m x6m with the VICON system and the ATLAS facility with 35Km x 30Km x 6000ft of segregated aerial space, control center, surveillance radar and hangars for the UAS development and Experimentation. Moreover FADA-CATEC has participated in 15 contracts dealing with aerial robotics and Unmanned Aerial Systems in 2014. These projects include both the development of UAS technologies and their application to industrial inspection, infrastructure, agriculture, security and others. FADA-CATEC is the coordinator entity of EC-SAFEMOBIL (http://www.ec-safemobil-project.eu/) and ARCAS (http://www.arcas-project.eu/) where is playing a main role in the integration and validation of the results of the projects including the landing of autonomous helicopters on a mobile platform carried by a ground vehicles and with a mechanism for platform elevation, and the development of aerial robotic manipulation systems with very light 6 joint arms also developed at the center. FADA-CATEC is also developing aerial robotic systems for the EUROC competition, where the team GRVC- CATEC has obtained the second position in the Challenge 3 Plant Servicing and Inspection, and will also play the same role of integrator in the AEROARMS project (http://www.aeroarms-project.eu/) in which the aerial robots with multiple arms will be applied to the inspection and maintenance of oil and gas plants. FADA-CATEC also developed hardware and software components and subsystems for autopilots, navigation systems and on-board sensing and perception functionalities. Finally, FADA-CATEC has been directly involved in the organization of the first worldwide multi-domain (land, sea and air) competition, FP7 euRathlon, being the partner leading the aerial part of the competition. The FADA-CATEC team will be led by Dr. Antidio Viguria which has specialized on the development and application of unmanned aerial systems.


Grupo Mecánica de Vuelo (GMV) (http://www.gmv.com/) is a privately owned technological enterprise group with an international presence. Founded in 1984, GMV mainly operates in many large sectors for both public and private organizations. Currently, GMV employs more than 1100 staff. GMV Space operations and activities are integrated across its multiples subsidiaries located in Spain, USA, Asia, Portugal, UK, Germany, Romania, France and Poland respectively. GMV has extensive experience in robotics and software development, with experience gained through many robotics activities mainly in the frame of European Space Agency R&D activities but also within EU FP7 & H2020 projects. GMV has also a long track of success stories of transferring space technologies to other more industrial domains such as transportation and logistics.

In the mobile robotics area, GMV has a wide experience in diverse projects for the European Space Agency (ESA) like EGP-ROVER (all-terrain 800Kg rover with two robotic arms at its front emulating a centaur concept), ProViScout (stereovision-based autonomous navigation) and RAT (rover autonomy test-bed). GMV also leads a team in the ARGOS (Autonomous Robot for Gas & Oil Sites) Challenge, a 3-year competition funded by the oil and gas company TOTAL with the support of the French National Research Agency (ANR), whit the aim of promoting the development of advance robotics capabilities in the Oil&Gas industry. Furthermore, GMV has participated in other challenging projects, like SPARTAN (SPAce exploration Research for Throttleable Advanced eNgine), developing the navigation, lander avionics (sensors included) and AIV (Assembly, Integration and Validation); and designed and settled a robotic test-bench: platform-art©, with two industrial robotic arms (one installed in a 15m rail) used for space operations simulations (GNC -Guidance, Navigation and Control-, FF -Formation Flying-, RvD -Rendezvous and Docking-) and equipment VV (Verification and Validation). CAR-UPM has a strong reputation and know-how in diverse manipulation and grasping projects, such as telerobotics project for live-line maintenance, multimodal haptic interfaces, DRC (DARPA Robotics Challenge) and the EuRoC (European Robotic Challenges) competition (Challenge 2 – Shop Floor Logistics and Manipulation), and also in mobile robotics competition in the ESA (European Space Agency) Lunar Robotics Challenge. The GMV team will be led by Luis Mollinedo, who has a wide experience in the research and development of mobile manipulators, with the help of Manuel Ferre (CAR-Automation and Robotics Research Center- deputy director) and the management of Alberto Medina (GMV Robotics section head).