“Flying Robot Companions for Future Smart Cities”
The rise of robotics offers a unique opportunity to re-imagine the design and function of urban environments. Future smart cities will behave like complex ecosystems in which humans, nature and robots exist in symbiosis, performing various tasks that are laborious, dangerous or expensive to do by manual means. In these future cities, swarms of friendly flying robots could interact autonomously with humans to serve society for e.g. construction and repair of buildings, urban logistics and environmental monitoring. Some of the most exciting prospects for these future robotics systems draw their inspiration from energy-efficient, adaptive strategies seen in living organisms that can thrive in complex, changing environments. In this talk, Dr. Mirko Kovac will show the newest bio-inspired flying robots that have been developed at the Imperial College Aerial Robotics Laboratory illustrating how the study of natural systems can enable next-generation aerial robots to enhance operations and human wellbeing in future cities.
Dr. Mirko Kovac is director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the Aeronautics Department at Imperial College London. His research interest is the conception and implementation of novel mobility solutions for robotics and agent based autonomous manufacturing. Before his appointment in London, he was post-doctoral researcher at at Harvard University and he obtained his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He received his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) in 2005. During his studies he was research associate with the University of California in Berkeley USA, RIETER Automotive Switzerland, the WARTSILA Diesel Technology Division in Switzerland, and CISERV in Singapore. Since 2006, he has presented his work at numerous international conferences and in journals and has won several best paper and best presentation awards. He has delivered 24 keynote lectures and 28 invited talks on bio-inspired robotics at leading research institutions and conferences world wide including the World Knowledge Dialogue Symposium 2008, the Robotics Systems and Sciences conference as well as the London Innovation Summit 2014 and 2016. He is also advisor to the U.K. government on the topic of Aerial Robotics and is regularly consulting on technology foresight and strategy development for industry.