Pham Huy Nguyen

Dr. Pham Huy Nguyen is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Sustainability Robotics at Empa, Switzerland and a visiting researcher at the Aerial Robotics Lab at Imperial College London, UK. His research is focused on the development of various novel physically intelligent, bio-inspired aerial robotic platforms that utilize soft sensing and actuation schemes. Previously, he received the B.S.E in Mechatronics from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013 and the M.Sc. degree in Robotics from the EMARO (European Masters in Advanced Robotics) program in 2015. The EMARO program is a two year program, with the first year at École Centrale de Nantes, France, and the second year at Università Degli Studi di Genova, Italy. He received the Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the Arizona State University, USA, in Fall 2020. 

Pakpong Chirarattananon

Prof. Pakpong Chirarattananon is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at City University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University in 2014 and his M.Phil. in Computational Biology and B.A. in Natural Sciences (Physics) from the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on biologically-inspired robotic systems, micro aerial vehicles, and hybrid locomotion. Recently, he developed revolving-wing drones, flapping-wing robots, and multimodal multirotors, with related publications in Science, Nature, and Science Robotics. He uses intelligent mechanisms to solve dynamics and control problems, and enhances the performance of robotic devices through improved understanding of interactions between mechanical design, actuation, dynamics, control, and environmental factors. He has received several best paper awards, including the 2021 IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award.

Karishma Patnaik

Dr. Karishma Patnaik is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on integrating design and control robotic systems to enable new behaviors and functionalities, especially for soft aerial robots and robots that physically interact with the environment for safety critical tasks.She received her PhD degree in Systems Engineering from Arizona State University,  and her MTech degree in Systems & Control Engineering from IIT Bombay.

Kristan Hilby

Kristan Hilby is a PhD candidate in the BioInstrumentation Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research focuses on the development of novel drone platforms and the role that compliant morphing structures play in enabling such platforms. Kristan received her Masters in Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2021, also in the BioInstrumentation Laboratory at MIT, studying large elongation soft robot structures. Prior to MIT, she received her Bachelors of Science in NanoEngineering from the University of California, San Diego in 2019.

Salua Hamaza

Prof. Salua Hamaza is Assistant Professor in Aerial Robotics & Director of the BioMorphic Intelligence Lab at TU Delft, Netherlands. She is also Research Fellow at Imperial College London, Aerial Robotics Lab. Her research focuses on the development of compliant aerial robots capable of interacting with objects and the environment for manipulation (primarily), and locomotion. Her robotic solutions take inspiration from biological systems for flying and interaction tasks, leveraging compliance in hardware and software to advance aerial robots’ autonomy. 

Previously, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Aerial Robotics Laboratory,  Imperial College London, United Kingdom. She obtained her Ph.D. in Robotics and Autonomous Systems from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, University of Bristol, in 2019.  She was visiting researcher at the GRVC at University of Seville, Spain, during 2018. Prior to the PhD she was researcher at RAM at University of Twente, Netherlands. She received the MSc degree from the University of Bologna and TU Delft. 

She is recipient of the 3rd prize Best UK PhD in Robotics, 2019 edition, and of 2 Best Paper Awards from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. She is Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Aerial & Field Robotics. Since 2021, she is the TU Delft Aerospace Engineering awardee of a new research lab, principal investigator in the Growth Fund NextGen Future Smart Industries, and leading a team of 6 PhD students.

Wenlong Zhang

Prof. Wenlong Zhang is an Associate Professor in the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University. He currently serves as the Assistant Director for Research of the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks. His research interests lie in developing learning and control algorithms for safe and efficient human-robot collaboration, with applications in wearable robotics, soft robotics, and autonomous aerial and ground vehicles. He received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award (2020), NSF-CISE Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) Award (2018), and Bisgrove Early Career Faulty Award from Science Foundation Arizona (2016).

Aníbal Ollero Baturone

Prof. Anibal Ollero is full Professor Head of GRVC at University Seville, and Scientific Advisor of the Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) also in Seville. He has been full professor at the Universities of Santiago in the Vigo Campus and Malaga (Spain). In all these institutions he has funded research groups and laboratories. He has been also researcher at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA) and LAAS-CNRS (Toulouse, France). He authored more than 800 publications, including 9 books and 235 papers in journals of the citation index and has been editor of 13 books. He has been supervisor or co-supervisor of 47 PhD Thesis. He leads more than 170 research projects and contracts with industries, participating in more than 35 projects of the European Research Programmes being coordinator of 7 and associated or deputy coordinator of 3. He is the principal investigator of the Advanced ERC Grant GRIFFIN on bioinspired aerial robots. In these projects he developed several world-wide innovations, particularly in aerial robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the aerial robotic manipulation, the fully autonomous landing on mobile platforms, the transportation of a load by means of several autonomous helicopters, and the cooperation of multiple unmanned aerial systems for detection and monitoring applications. He received 28 Research awards including Spanish National Award in Research (Engineering), Rei Jaume I in New Technologies (2019), Global Winner of the Innovation Radar Prize of the European Commission in the Information and Communication Technologies 2017, elected between the three European Innovators of the Year 2017 and included between the European personalities of the Year 2017,  between others.

Mirko Kovač

Prof. Mirko Kovac is Director, Laboratory of Sustainability Robotics at Empa Switzerland and Aerial Robotics Laboratory at Imperial College, London UK. He is also an adjunct professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC). 

He is internationally recognized leader in aerial robotics and working on a mission on development of minimally invasive robotics and AI technologies to measure and modify environments and deliver sustainable outcomes. His research focuses on the development of novel, biologically inspired flying robots for distributed sensing in air and water and autonomous robotic construction for digital infrastructure systems for industry 5.0 applications. His research group is specialized in robot design, hardware development and multi-modal robot mobility. At Laboratory of Sustainability Robotics, Empa, we are developing novel materials allowing tight integration to robot functionality and operational robustness and allow development of robotic organs and an associated full integration of embodied artificial intelligence in future engineering systems. The group research is also focuses on developing bio-hybrid systems integrating biological materials such as muscle cells, functional cellulose, fungi substrate with robotic systems.

Prof. Kovac has over 15 years of research experience from Imperial College, London and at Harvard University He has been awarded >12.4m Euro for his cross-disciplinary projects and has published >100 peer-reviewed articles in leading robotics journals and at conferences (including, Nature, Science, Nature Machine Intelligence and Science Robotics). Prof. Kovac’s research work has received >1100 media mentions, and he regularly acts as an advisor to robotics investment funds and government including a consultation to the UK House of Lords. He has received the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson award in 2018 and an ERC Consolidator grant (funded by SERI) in 2021. Prof. Kovac is also Director of Centre of Excellence in Infrastructure Robotics Ecosystems (Ceire) at Imperial College London.