Research Interests

Robotics is often defined as the “intelligent connection of perception to action” (M. Bradley, “Artificial Intelligence and Robotics”, MIT, 1984 [Link]). My research interests lie at the intersection between perception and control. More specifically, I am interested in using control techniques to exploit the benefits of onboard sensors.

Agile Quadrotors Flight Using Active Vision

Quadrotors are very agile, yet simple aerial vehicles, and recent work showed they can execute extremely complex maneuvers. Most of this work relies on motion-capture systems for state estimation, preventing those machines from exploiting their potentials in the real world. Conversely, I am interested in executing agile flight with quadrotors using solely onboard sensing (namely, a single camera and an IMU) and computing. This leads to a number of interesting challenges and open questions, since perception and control cannot be treated as two separated problems, but need to be coupled (active vision). Examples of such aggressive maneuvers are passing through narrow inclined gaps and flying at high speed in cluttered unknown environments.


Peer-reviewed Journal Papers

M. Faessler, D. Falanga, D. Scaramuzza. Thrust Mixing, Saturation, and Body-Rate Control for Accurate Aggressive Quadrotor Flight. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2017. PDF – Video

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers

D. Falanga, E. Mueggler, M. Faessler, D. Scaramuzza. Aggressive Quadrotor Flight through Narrow Gaps with Onboard Sensing and Computing using Active Vision. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Singapore, 2017. PDF – Video

P. Foehn, D. Falanga, N. Kuppuswamy, R. Tedrake, D. Scaramuzza. Fast Trajectory Optimization for Agile Quadrotor Maneuvers with a Cable-Suspended Payload. Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), Boston, 2017. Best Student Paper Award FinalistPDF – Video

D. Falanga, A. Zanchettin, A. Simovic, J. Delmerico, D. Scaramuzza. Vision-based Autonomous Quadrotor Landing on a Moving Platform. IEEE/RSJ International Symposium on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics (SSRR), Shanghai, 2017. PDF – Video


R. Spica, D. Falanga, E. Cristofalo, E. Montijano, D. Scaramuzza, M. Schwager. A Game Theoretic Approach to Autonomous Two-Player Drone Racing. Arxiv, 2018. PDF Video


The Robotics and Perception Group is located in Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich (CH).

To contact me, drop me an email (falanga (at) ifi (dot) uzh (dot) ch) or a call (+41 44 635 45 89).