IROS 2012 Workshop

Workshop TW5: Aerial Physically Acting Robots (AIRPHARO)

Thursday, October 11, 14 h


Anibal Ollero, Lorenzo Marconi




This workshop is jointly organized by the IEEE RAS TC 1 Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and the coordinators of the projects “Aerial Robots Physically Interacting with the Environment” (ARCAS) and “Innovative Aerial Service Robots for Remote Inspection by Contact" (AIRobots). The panel includes senior representatives of the partners involved in these projects together with distinguished researchers leading the aerial robotics community. It also counts with industrialist. These panelists are from Universities, Research Centers and Industry.

This workshop is focused on aerial robots physically interacting with the environment. It should be noted that the main methods, technologies and applications of aerial robotics and unmanned aerial systems have been related to information exchanges of the aerial robots with objects in the environment, with ground stations and between several aerial robots. Recently, new applications that involve physical interaction such as load transportation and inspection are being researched and new methods and technologies have been developed. These include load transportation and deployment by means of one or several robots, remote inspection by contact, structure construction, and cooperative assembly and manipulation by several aerial robots.

The workshop will include presentations related to the main scientific and technological topics related to aerial robots physically interacting between them and with the environment (see below) including the cooperation of several aerial robots. The presentations will include the presentation of new methods and technologies together with simulations and implementations by using quadrotors, helicopters and fixed wing aerial robotic platforms. Relevant application scenarios will be analysed by specialists.

In addition of the presentations, the program will include round table discussions with the attendants.


Aerial robotics has experienced a significant development in the last 10 years.

Thus, many application functionalities such as surveillance, mapping, and target tracking have been developed. However, applications such as load transportation, inspection, assembly or structure construction require the development of new methods and technologies that involve the aerial robots in physical contact between them and with the environment. These methods and technologies have been recently targeted by several projects in USA and Europe.

IROS 2012 provides an ideal venue to effectively engage a wide audience of subject matter experts and hence motivates this workshop. The objectives of this workshop are:

  1. present some of the scientific and technological results results already obtained;

  2.  point out what is needed to solve practical applications including aerial and space robotic applications;

  3.  facilitate discussion on technology gaps, research directions and identify collaborations.

Intended audience

Researchers and practitioners from academia, government, and industry interested in the research topics related to the free flying robots interacting with the environment and their potential technology transfer and applications to inspection, assembly, structure construction, and space.

List of topics


ARCAS project presentations Coffee break and demostrations (16.00h - 16.30h) AIRobot project presentations Applications and other techniques General discussions and Conclusions (17.45h - 18.00h)