MechE Colloquium: Biologically Inspired Drones


Event details

Date 22.02.2022
Hour 12:0013:00
Speaker Prof. Dario Floreano, Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS), Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM), School of Engineering (STI), EPFL
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Face masks are recommended for in-person attendance in MED 0 1418.

Drones have taken the world by storm. In less than 10 years, they have become one of the fastest growing sectors in robotics, and are available on the shelves of your neighborhood supermarket. And yet, today's drones cannot compete with insects and birds in terms of mechanical resilience, agility and endurance, adaptability to diverse environmental conditions, multi-functionality, and even cooperation. In this talk I will review multi-disciplinary research by my lab to address those challenges. I will describe work on insect-inspired perception, exoskeletal structures, foldable and morphing bodies, multi-modal locomotion, flying and grasping and perching, cooperative manipulation, sensor-based aerial swarming, and close with human-drone symbiosis. Do you want to fly?

Bio: Prof. Dario Floreano is director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). He has been the founding director of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Robotics since 2010. Prof. Floreano holds an M.A. in Vision, an M.S. in Neural Computation, and a PhD in Robotics. He held visiting research positions at Sony Computer Science Laboratory, at Caltech/JPL, and at Harvard University. His research interests are biologically inspired robotics and artificial intelligence. Prof. Floreano has made pioneering contributions to the fields of evolutionary robotics, aerial robotics, and soft robotics that have been published in approximately 400 peer-reviewed articles, and 4 books on Artificial Neural Networks, Evolutionary Robotics, Bio-inspired Artificial Intelligence and Bio-inspired Flying Robots with MIT Press and Springer Verlag. He served in several advisory boards and committees, including the Future and Emerging Technologies division of the European Commission, the World Economic Forum Agenda Council, the International Society of Artificial Life, the International Neural Network Society, the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and in the editorial committee of ten scientific journals. In addition, he helped spinning off two successful drone companies ( and and the largest non-for-profit communication portal on robotics and A.I. (

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



MechE Colloquium: Biologically Inspired Drones