Plenary Talk

Invited speakers


Guido de Croon, Associate Professor, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Title: “Autonomous Flight of Flapping Wing Robots”

Abstract: Flapping wing robots hold an enormous potential for the miniaturization of drones, as the unsteady flapping wing aerodynamics are very efficient, allowing different (efficient) flight modes with the same vehicle configuration. While the design and construction of flapping wing robots is still a challenge, many flapping wing projects already aim for having small flapping wing robots flying around as swarms for various tasks, such as the pollination of flowers. What is necessary to achieve such a very challenging goal? And what technology is already available to make that goal a reality? In my talk, I will discuss the various challenges involved in the design of fully autonomous swarms of light-weight flapping-wing robots. Some of these challenges are common to tiny flying robots in general, and some are quite specific to flapping wing robotics in particular. I will illustrate the challenges and potential solutions by means of my group’s research on the “DelFly”, a light-weight, X-wing flapping wing robot.

Biography: Received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His research interest lies with computationally efficient algorithms for robot autonomy, with an emphasis on robot vision and the autonomous learning of efficient perception and control strategies. Since 2008 he has worked on algorithms for achieving autonomous flight with small and light-weight flying robots, such as the DelFly flapping wing MAV. In 2011-2012, he was a research fellow in the Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency, where he studied topics such as optical flow based control algorithms for extraterrestrial landing scenarios. Currently, he is associate professor at TU Delft and scientific lead of the Micro Air Vehicle lab (MAV-lab) of Delft University of Technology.


Wanggu Kang, Director, Unmanned Vehicle Advanced Research Center, KARI, Korea

Title: “Current Unmanned Vehicle Research Activities and Future Plan in Korea”

Abstract: MSIT (ministry of science and ICT, Korea) has started research and development program on unmanned vehicles in 2016. The R&D program, named UVARP(unmanned vehicle advanced research program), aims to develop sensing and detection technology, communication, artificial intelligence, power, system integration technology required for future Unmanned Vehicles. UVARC is in charge of managing the MSIT’s unmanned vehicle R&D programs. The first phase of the R&D program will be completed in 2019. The second phase is planned to be launched in 2020. In this presentation, we will present the current R&D project details, and future plans especially, not limited, on the international cooperative research program in the second phase.

Biography: Received his B.Sc. and M.Sc in the field of Aerospace Engineering at Seoul National University, Korea, Ph.D, in the field of Aerospace at KAIST, Korea. He worked in the development of many aircraft development programs, such as 9 seater all composite aircraft, T-50 jet trainer, stratospheric unmanned airship, and 32m class tethered aerostat. Since 2007, he participated in setting up several national aircraft strategic plans, including “national aerospace industry strategic plan, 2010, ministry of industry”, “unmanned vehicle technology research and industry promotion plan, 2015, ministry of science and ICT”, “national technology roadmap for unmanned vehicles, 2017, ministry of science and ICT”. Currently, he is the director of UVARC (unmanned vehicle advanced research center), KARI, Korea. UVARC is in charge of Unmanned Vehicle Advanced Research Program of MSIT (ministry of science and ICT), Korea.


Sanjay P. Sane, Associate Professor
National Centre for Biological Sciences, India

Title: “The Philosophical Antecedents of Biomimicry and Bioinspiration”

Abstract: As a philosophical question, the problem of how to translate biological observations into machines is at least as old as Aristotle, but its more modern conceptualization owes to Renaissance scientists such as Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Rene Descartes (1596-1650) who first observed that biological organisms followed, in large part, the laws of mechanics. Contemporaneous scientists such as William Harvey (1578-1657) and Giovanni Borelli (1608-1679) discovered the mechanical underpinnings of heart and the circulatory system, and of animal locomotion. Others like Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) tried to engineer machines based on biological observations. Thus, the philosophical antecedents of Biomimicry and Bioinspiration have a deep history that continues to inform us in the current times. They also tell us that there remain fundamental questions that are as open today, as they were in the 15th century. A key issue that earlier thinkers grappled with was the lack of proper Biological data, which meant that many early projects of Biomimcry were misguided and often failed to produce the desired results. As modern engineers strive to develop technology that is inspired by the biological world, it is helpful to recall some of this history and ask what lessons can be learned through collaborations between engineers and biologists. I will argue that, for such intellectual and training programs to succeed, it is essential for them to incorporate systematic education of both biology and engineering fields.

Biography: Sanjay P. Sane is currently an Associate Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bangalore, India. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College in University of Delhi, and a Master’s degree in Physics (with specialization in Non-linear Dynamics and Astrophysics) from the University of Poona in Pune, India. His doctoral work at University of California, Berkeley with Prof. Michael Dickinson focused on insect flight aerodynamics. His post-doctoral work with Prof. Tom Daniel at University of Washington investigated the role of antennal mechanosensors in insect flight control. His laboratory at NCBS studies diverse topics from the physics to physiology of insect flight, and insect architecture and collective behaviour in termites.


Songbai Xue, Chief Researcher, TIFO Institute, China

Title: “New Horizon of Industrial Unmanned System: from Individual Intelligence to Swarm Intelligence”

Abstract: Swarm Intelligence (SI) as a new subset of Artificial Intelligence, is designed to manage a group of connected machines. Swarm intelligence comes from mimicking nature, such as ants and bees, operates using a collective intelligence that is greater than any individual member of the swarm. Swarms are highly effective problem-solving groups and own many advantages when facing the loss of individual members while still completing the task at hand, and makes the SI is desirable for a huge number of applications in the future. Dr. Guo’s speech will mainly focus on the introduction about “swarm intelligence” from academic perspective, phased research and experiment result we had, and also the future development direction of “swarm intelligence” based on our understanding.

Biography: Received his M.Sc. of Guidance Navigation & Control and Ph.D. of Aircraft Design in Beihang University, China. He is now the CTO of AOSSCI Co. Ltd.,  the chief researcher of TIFO Institute. Dr. Xue is specialized in guidance navigation and control for entry vehicle, helicopter and VTOL aircraft, and now mainly focuses on the research of intelligent technology especially for “Swarm Intelligence”.