[robotics-worldwide] ETH Summer Robotics Schools - 'Dynamic Walking and Running' & 'Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles'

Remy Christian David christian.remy at mavt.ethz.ch
Thu Mar 17 08:42:02 PDT 2011

[Apologies for multiple postings]


On behalf of the Autonomous Systems Lab, I have the pleasure to cordially invite you to the following two robotics schools which will be conducted this summer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH):

* July  4th - July  8th, 2011: 'Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles: Design, Perception, and Control'
* July 11th - July 15th, 2011: 'Dynamic Walking and Running with Robots'

Both schools are designed for graduate students of all levels.  However,  a solid background in engineering will enable you to profit most from the lectures and exercises.  In the courses, we seek to take your existing engineering skills and extend them to the most important fundamentals in these two thrilling fields.  We will show you the current state of the art in each area, and expose you to inspiring researchers from all over the world.  To this end, both schools will feature four full days of tutorials, lectures and hands-on exercises, and one day of case studies which will be presented by internationally recognized experts in the field.

Detailed information to the individual school is given below in this email or accessible at http://www.roboticsschool.ethz.ch

'Dynamic Walking and Running with Robots'
July 11th - July 15th, 2011

40 years after the first autonomous walking robot and 20 years after Mark Raibert's seminal work on robotic running, research on legged locomotion is renewing itself vibrantly and innovative as never before.  With the problem of statically stable locomotion nearly solved, the commercialization of ZMP-controlled bipeds at hand, and the ongoing large-scale application of Raibert's principles, the robotics community now strives to close the performance gap that still separates robotic devices from their counterparts in nature.  Energy efficiency, higher locomotion speeds, versatility, and robustness, are the key ingredients that will allow a wide-spread application of legged locomotion in autonomous systems.  In this school, we want to prepare a new generation of engineers for these challenges, expose them to the current state of the art, and highlight fascinating areas of future research.
To this end, the school will give a compact introduction into the engineering fundamentals of legged locomotion.  It will provide the participants with the necessary concepts, tools, and methods that allow them to extend their knowledge of design, simulation, and control to the thrilling field of legged robotics.  Within this general scope, we will specifically focus on all forms of dynamic locomotion and thus include lectures and exercises on exciting issues such as under-actuation, hybrid dynamic modeling, limit cycle analysis, and optimal control.  Stressing the importance of learning from nature, the engineering perspective will be complemented by an introduction to the basic concepts of walking and running in biological systems.  Physiology, morphology, and the characteristics of different gaits will be discussed and set into perspective with respect to robotics and prosthetics.  Finally, in a number of selected case studies presented by internationally recognized experts in the field, we will point to areas of stimulating research and allow you to see beyond the current state of the art.
This summer school is part of the Swiss National Competence Center for Research in Robotics.

* Roland Siegwart, ETH - ASL
* C. David Remy, ETH - ASL
* Marco Hutter, ETH - ASL
* Mark Hoepflinger, ETH - ASL
* Katja Mombaur, U-HEIDELBERG
* Jonas Buchli, IIT
* Claudio Semini, IIT
* Fumiya Iida, ETH - BIRL
* Hartmut Geyer, CMU
* Shuuji Kajita, AIST
* Stefano Stramigioli, U-TWENTE
* Russ Tedrake, MIT
* Art Kuo, U-MICH
* Auke Ijspeert, EPFL

'Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles: Design, Perception, and Control'
July  4th - July  8th, 2011
Autonomous aerial vehicles are about to play major roles in tasks like reconnaissance for search and rescue, environment monitoring, security surveillance.  Their mobility and sensing capabilities - unavailable ground robots - make them the ideal platform for exploration, mapping, and monitoring tasks, and for transport/delivery of payloads in complex 3-dimensional environments.  If they are further realized in small scale, they can also be used in narrow outdoor and indoor environments, and they represent only a limited risk for the environment and people living in it.  However, for such operations today's systems navigating only on GPS information are no longer sufficient.  Fully autonomous operation in cities or other dense environments requires the micro aerial vehicle (MAV) to fly at low altitude or indoors - where GPS signals are often shadowed - and to explore actively unknown environments while avoiding collisions and creating maps.  This involves a number of challenges on all levels: helicopter design, power supply, perception, actuation, navigation, and control.
In this summer school we will give a compact introduction into the engineering fundamentals of micro aerial vehicles, from design to perception and control.  Within this scope, we will first provide the participants with knowledge on design and simulation of different configurations of micro aerial vehicles.  We will specifically focus on the design of micro helicopters, namely coaxial and quadrocopters.  Second, we will provide the state of the art on sensors for MAVs, both proprioceptive and exteroceptive sensors and we will focus in particular on inertial (IMU) and vision sensors as alternative to the more standard laser and GPS.  Within this scope, we will include lectures and exercises on fusion of vision and IMU, visual SLAM, and visual place recognition.  Emphasis will be given to the design of computationally inexpensive algorithms for low-power, lightweight processors.  Finally, we provide the participants with knowledge on control strategies and navigation algorithms for MAVs, stressing the importance of learning from nature.

* Roland Siegwart, ETH - ASL
* Davide Scaramuzza, ETH - ASL
* Samir Bouabdallah, ETH - ASL
* Stefan Leutenegger, ETH - ASL
* Margarita Chli, ETH - ASL
* Friedrich Fraundorfer, ETH - CVG
* Marc Pollefeys, ETH - CVG
* Nathan Michael, U-PENN
* Vijay Kumar, U-PENN
* Raffaello D'Andrea, ETH - IDSC
* Sergei Lupashin, ETH - IDSC
* Angela Schöllig, ETH - IDSC
* Markus Hehn, ETH - IDSC
* Markus Achtelik, ETH - ASL
* Laurent Kneip, ETH - ASL


Participation is limited to 60 students for each school.  Candidates will be selected based on the quality of their application.  Please state on one single page (11pt font):
* your scientific background and degree
* your motivation to come to this school
* the topic of your thesis
* any prior knowledge in the field
Please include a current academic transcript with your application (and optionally a CV with a list of publications) and send it to
leggedlocomotion at mavt.ethz.ch, for 'Dynamic Walking and Running'
sfly-summerschool at mavt.ethz.ch, for 'Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles'
If you seek to apply to both schools, please submit individual applications to both addresses

Deadline for the application is April 15th, 2011.  Successful candidates will be notified by April 22th and need to register and pay the course-fee by May 6.


The cost for the summer school is 300 CHF.
This will cover all course materials, as well as breakfast, coffee-breaks, and two dinners during the school.
Lunch and dinner is available at the ETH-Cafeterias and in nearby venues from ~15 CHF (including a drink). For the whole week, we put the additional living expenses at around CHF 200.

We will provide basic accommodation for all participants in a remodeled former air-raid shelter in the basement of the Computer Science building (no windows).  This is right next door to the course venue, and will feature dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms.  Pillows, blankets, and sheets will be provided.  This accommodation will be free of charge for all participants.  It will be open from Sunday evening to Saturday morning, to accommodate travel that requires an additional night in Zurich.
If more privacy and comfort is desired, students must organize alternative accommodation on their own responsibility and expense (double rooms in Zurich start at around 65 CHF per night and person).


The schools are organized by the Autonomous Systems Lab (http://www.asl.ethz.ch/) in collaboration with:
* The ETH Master program in Robotics, Systems and Control http://www.mavt.ethz.ch/education/master/rob_sys_contr
* The Swiss NCCR Robotics http://www.nccr-robotics.ch/
* The EU-Project sFly http://www.sfly.org
* The International Alliance of Research Universities http://www.iaruni.org/index
* The Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control http://www.idsc.ethz.ch/

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
leggedlocomotion at mavt.ethz.ch, for 'Dynamic Walking and Running'
sfly-summerschool at mavt.ethz.ch, for 'Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicles'

with best regards

C. David Remy

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ)
Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL)
CLA E 32.1
Tannenstrasse 3
8092 Zürich, Switzerland
+41 44 63 23231
cremy at ethz.ch

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