Faculty Candidate Seminar

From hummingbirds to honeybees: algorithms for agile micro aerial vehicles with on-board perception

Luca CarloneResearch ScientistMassachusetts Institute of Technology

The deployment of agile micro aerial vehicles will have a massive societal impact over the next decades, creating novel opportunities for large-scale precision agriculture, fast delivery of medical supplies, and disaster response, and providing new perspectives on environmental monitoring and artificial pollination. This future requires the design of robust and lightweight perception algorithms, which interpret sensor data into a coherent world representation, enabling on-board situational awareness and decision making. In the first part of the talk I discuss my work towards robust and lightweight perception, including the design of algorithms for fast visual-inertial navigation and the development of the first approach for certifiably correct localization and mapping. In the second part, I discuss the challenges connected to scaling down perception to nano and pico aerial vehicles, where sensing and computation are subject to strict payload and power constraints. I argue that enabling autonomy on miniaturized platforms requires a paradigm shift in perception, sensing, and communication, and discuss how we can draw inspiration from nature in designing the next generation of flying robots.
Luca Carlone is a research scientist in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining MIT, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech (2013-2015), and a visiting researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara (2011). He got his Ph.D. from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy, in 2012. His research interests include nonlinear estimation, numerical and distributed optimization, computer vision and probabilistic inference applied to sensing, perception, and control of single and multi robot systems.

Sponsored by


Faculty Host

Jason Corso