Robotics and Intelligent Machines Center (RIM) Seminar-Nathan Michael

Please note, the RIM Seminar on October 3 will be held in the Manufacturing Research Center (MaRC) Auditorium from 12-1 p.m. Seminars are open to the public.

Nathan Michael, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania, presents Indoor/Outdoor Autonomous Navigation and 3D Exploration with a Quadrotor.

In this talk, I will discuss approaches to state estimation and exploration with an autonomous quadrotor in indoor and outdoor environments. Quadrotors, and more generally micro-aerial vehicles, offer 3D mobility and observational capabilities that make them particularly applicable to search-and-rescue scenarios where the vehicle must navigate complex 3D environments for the purposes of mapping and inspection. During search-and-research scenarios in or near buildings, such as in response to an emergency or disaster, it may not be possible for a human to enter the environment and thus the vehicle must be able to access the location and operate autonomously without requiring high-level direction. This talk focuses on the addressing these requirements and will consist of three parts: (1) a brief overview of the necessary prerequisites to enable autonomous navigation with a quadrotor in multi-story indoor environments; (2) a state estimation approach that permits autonomous navigation in mixed indoor and outdoor environments; and (3) an algorithm for exploration in complex three-dimensional environments that is amenable to application on a quadrotor with payload constrained sensing and computational capabilities. I will present the details of the methodologies as well as experimental evaluations in relevant operational environments.

Nathan Michael recently joined the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Research Professor. Prior to this appointment, he was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving a PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, he transitioned into a position on the Research Faculty in 2010. Michael's research interests include the topics of estimation and control for ground and aerial robots with extensions to multi-robot systems.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, October 3, 2012
    12:00 pm - Thursday, October 4, 2012
    12:59 pm
Location: Manufacturing Research Center (MaRC) Auditorium
Phone: (404) 385-3300

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For More Information Contact

Josie Giles
RIM Communications Officer