Soft Aerial Robotics


Dr. Begoña Chiquinquira Arrue Ullés
Department of Systems Engineering and Automation
University of Seville, Spain



The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been expanded in many applications due to their capability of accessing dangerous locations. Soft Aerial Robotics allows an innovative aerial system, which embeds soft-robotics technology. Utilizing softness, increased compatibility is expected in close interaction with humans. Nowadays, the focus is on the automation of UAVs without human interaction; however, these systems can be more efficient if they work in cooperation with them. Aerial vehicles, particularly multirotor drones, have an inherent risk as their propulsion system can harm humans; and controlling them is a critical subject as they are subjected to disturbances, such as wind or physical interactions. Embedding soft-robotics technologies in these platforms, and substituting the rigid parts with a deformable structure (as much as possible), will make them suitable for human-robot interaction, making them compliant and secure. To this end, artificial intelligence is needed to impose learning processes on the soft robot to gain a control law and to tune the system with unconventional methods. The efforts will centralize on validating a UAV prototype that includes soft robotics technologies to allow secure coworking operations in a controlled environment. The use of this family of soft materials will transform the aerial robotics field.


Biography of the speaker

Associate Professor Arrue (Dep. of Systems Engineering and Automation, University of Seville) holds BSc in Computer Science (University of Deusto, Spain), and an MSc and a PhD in Electrical Engineering (University of Virginia, USA). During her academic career, Arrue has been lecturing undergraduate and postgraduate students of a variety of engineering disciplines. Her areas of expertise include robotics, computer science, artificial intelligence, systems engineering and automation, and signal theory among others.

Dr. Arrue’s research aims to devise novel robotic paradigms integrating multidisciplinary approaches. In particular, Arrue is specialized in multirobots aerial systems, bio-inspired aerial soft robotics, AI in robotics, perception, manipulation and planning, and intelligent systems, among others.

Assoc. Prof. Arrue has published a number of research articles in world-class journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. She has participated in more than 30 research projects – including EU funded projects – such as EUFIRELAB project (Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development. EVG1- 2001-00024. 2002-2006.) where she was the principal investigator of the Spanish team.

At present, Dr. Arrue is working on various research initiatives (GRIFFIN, AERIAL-CORE, PILOTING, RESIST), and is co-PI of the European projects TERRINET and RIMA. In addition, she has closely worked with a repertoire of industrial partners such as AIRBUS MILITARY or ABEGONA to bring technological advances to the market, including more than 15 companies such as ITURRY, FAASA, among others.

Arrue is also an IEEE Senior member, has been an active reviewer in various international journals, and has acted as scientific assessor for national and international research initiatives.