Robotics research in Klagenfurt enjoys international success: The Karl Popper Doktorats- und Wissenschaftskolleg for Networked Autonomous Aerial Vehicles concludes with a demonstration in south Klagenfurt

With a total of 9 contributions at this year’s ICRA, one of the flagship conferences in the field of robotics, the University of Klagenfurt has joined the league of the world’s most important robotics hubs. Among the contributors are the young researchers from the Karl Popper Doktorats- und Wissenschaftskolleg “Networked Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (NAV)”, which is currently celebrating its conclusion with a drone flight demonstration in Klagenfurt.

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Robots as surgical assistants

Today, robotic systems are little more than assistants used to hold and aim surgical tools. A research team led by Jan Steinbrener and Stephan Weiss at the University of Klagenfurt is looking to develop new technological options to support surgeons in their work.

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Getting drones to improve their self-awareness

Drones are increasingly being deployed as autonomous actors in uncontrolled environments. This requires reliable control and navigation. The research team at the University of Klagenfurt led by Stephan Weiss and Jan Steinbrener, which also includes doctoral student Christoph Böhm, is now working on improving the drone’s self-awareness so that it becomes better at adapting to changing conditions in the future.

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Robots set to learn how to provide better assistance during surgery

Minimally invasive surgery has many advantages for patients and surgical teams, such as shorter recovery times, lower post-operative complication rates, higher patient acceptance rates and increased cost efficiency. One key area here is interventional radiology, where external imaging equipment is used to guide the surgical instruments through the body. Robots can support in this task. However, those who believe that robots “operate” independently are (as yet) mistaken: The robot systems available today are pure tele-operators or mere assistants for holding and targeting tools; that’s all they can do. Now, a research project led by the University of Klagenfurt wants to explore additional advantages of “operating robots” and increase their autonomy when it comes to supporting surgeons. Read more

Helicopter flies to Mars: Researcher based in Klagenfurt provided the navigation technology

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on 30 July the new Mars Rover “Perseverance” will take off from Cape Canaveral, bound for Mars. Also on board is the first ever “Mars helicopter”, which will undertake exploratory flights. The helicopter is navigated using a technology that Stephan Weiss, Professor at the Department of Smart Systems Technologies, was instrumental in developing.  

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Europe’s largest Dronehall is open for business

Researchers investigating autonomous drones can now use a cutting-edge research infrastructure at the University of Klagenfurt, measuring up to 150 square meters and a height of ten meters. This is a tremendous boost for the “Drone-Hub Klagenfurt”, already known for hosting some of the world’s top players in the field.

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Generating images of ice and water on aircraft wings

Juliana Padilha Leitzke came to Klagenfurt from Brazil in order to write her doctoral thesis and to contribute to reducing the risk of undetected hazardous ice on aircraft wings. She expects to complete her doctoral thesis shortly.

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New technology to determine ice on aircraft

In-flight icing of aircraft wings represents one of the biggest safety risks in aviation. Researchers have developed new wireless sensors allowing improved detection of ice formation. Read more

“Can we fly this on Mars?” Mars helicopter joins Mars Mission

When JPL-NASA staff member Stephan Weiss demonstrated his drone navigation technology during a flight demonstration in 2013, Charles Elachi, head of JPL at the time, asked him: “Can we fly this on Mars?” This marked the beginning of a successful development story, which will shortly culminate in the Mars Mission 2020 deployment of an adapted version of the drone flight technology developed by Weiss, who is now a professor at the Alpen-Adria-Universität. 

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One time for all: Synchronising time in drone swarms

Wherever several clocks tick simultaneously, it is tricky to get them all to display precisely the same time. This can be a challenge for drone swarms that are airborne together. To tackle this problem, young scientist Agata Gniewek is developing new technologies.

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