The final review, which will take place at the ATLAS centre in Villacarrillo (Jaen), will present the data from a four-year research project involving 15 centres around the world. This project has made a breakthrough by creating devices capable of manipulating objects, performing inspection and maintenance tasks, and transforming during flight to travel greater distances, among others.
After four years of research in which more than 15 international institutions have participated, AERIAL-CORE (AERIAL COgnitive integrated multi-task Robotic system with Extended operation range and safety) will culminate with a final review on 26th and 27th October at the ATLAS Centre in Villacarrillo (Jaén) where, in addition to presenting the results obtained in academic terms, there will be an outdoor demonstration of the robots through tests such as mapping, interaction between multiple devices, manipulation of tools and testing of high voltage lines, among others.
This project was created with the aim of developing technology capable of improving inspection tasks from the air of large infrastructures, such as the electricity grid, and which can carry out maintenance tasks on its own and help human workers to improve the safety of their actions. the safety of their actions. To test these robots, experiments have been carried out in Endesa’s electricity grid and devices capable of manipulating objects, carrying out inspection and maintenance tasks, and devices that can transform during flight to cover greater distances, among other things, have been developed.
Aerial Core has taken aerial robotics a step further with the development of automated drones with hitherto unexplored functionalities; technology at the service of people to reduce the risks of industrial work to a minimum. The project has succeeded in creating the first aerial robot with cognitive capabilities in the perception of the environment and teamwork with multiple aerial robots. It has been trained with artificial intelligence and automatic learning techniques and a series of devices and functionalities have been integrated into it to improve and extend its performance, providing it with advances such as event cameras that improve visual navigation, modification of the configuration of its wings in flight (from fixed wing to rotating wing or flapping wing), the capacity to carry out manipulations in mid-flight, recharging on the power line or that the robot acts as an ally in field work, improving the safety and efficiency of human workers. Another advance is the control system of each Aerial Co-worker (ACW) that allows a high degree of cognitive interaction to be established whereby the device can interact with humans as if it were one of them.
A little overview about the project
With more than 8,500,000 million euros in grant funding by the EU under the H2020 programme, since 2019 AERIAL-CORE has been developing devices such as aerial robots capable of inspecting infrastructures with high precision (sub-centimetre) and over long distances (several kilometres), among other actions. The project’s researchers have also applied cognitive functions in the devices in order to combine stationary flight and long-term endurance for local observations of infrastructures, manipulation with force interactions and collaboration of the robots with humans.
During these four years, AERIAL-CORE has already demonstrated breakthroughs such as the autonomous tracking of a power line, the mapping of vegetation close to the line, robotic platforms vegetation close to the line, bio-inspired aerial robotic platforms, landing on and manipulation for maintenance, including the installation of clip-on diverters and helmets, including the installation of clip and helical diverters or the conductor separator, among others.
All this research, which ends in 2023, has been carried out in a consortium coordinated by the University of Seville and also formed by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Consorzio C.R.E.A.T.E., the Andalusian Foundation for Aerospace Development (FADA), the University of Zurich, the Czech Technical University of Prague, the University of Zagreb, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Terabee Designs, FuVeX, Donecle SAS, the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), E-Distribution, Vertical Engineering Solutions and the University of Twente.