Robotic Summer school

Review: Summer school 2015 on autonomous flight robots

In 2015 Fraunhofer IAIS was host of the euRathlon/TRADR Summer School. Here we provide a review and announcements of upcoming events of the TRADR project.

Micro aerial vehicles (MAV) such as multicopters have become a popular research tool in recent years and are used in an increasing number of application domains such as aerial photography and inspection tasks. Most MAVs are remotely controlled or follow GNSS waypoints in obstacle-free heights. Many tasks require navigation in complex 3D environments, close to obstacles, however. Hence, the degree of autonomy of the MAVs must be increased.

The objective of the school is to give students deep insights into the currently leading approaches to 3D environment perception, mapping, navigation planning, and control of autonomous MAVs. Lectures by internationally leading experts will provide the necessary theoretical background for hands-on exercises with MAVs.


The program was based on three pillars:

  • Theory: Ranging from state estimation based on multimodal sensors and environment mapping by cameras and laser scanners over control of dynamic flight, obstacle avoidance, navigation planning, and exploration to contact with the environment and aerial manipulation.
  • Case studies: Leading micro aerial systems for research on autonomy such as Ascending Technologies Firefly, the “Mapping on Demand” and InventAIRy copters of University of Bonn, the multirotors developed at CMU, the aerial manipulators of University of Seville, and the DelFly flapping wing MAVs of TU Delft were presented.      
  • Practical exercises: Students applied the theory in hands-on tutorials. Ascending Technologies provided sensor equipped Firefly copters for these. Participants were encouraged to also bring their own micro aerial vehicles. Space for indoor and outdoor experiments with autonomous micro aerial vehicles was available.