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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman, bear a remarkable similarity to the surface of Mars in terms of structural composition. The Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF) has therefore chosen Oman as the location of a large-scale Analog Mars Mission scheduled for February 2018 in order to conduct field studies. 16 experiment teams will participate in this event, including the research group for autonomous drone navigation led by Stephan Weiss.
Imagine that a pipeline that stretches for miles and miles springs a leak. Traditionally, this would mean many miles of walking for someone tasked with finding the hole. In an ideal world, this search for the precise point of methanol leakage could also be performed by a drone, onto which a spectrometer has been mounted that specializes in analysing chemical samples. Existing devices are currently far too heavy; the drone would soon have to give up. Lisa-Marie Faller is working on a technology, with which the fitted spectrometers can be made much smaller and would therefore be suitable for this type of deployment, amongst others. In recognition of her work, the doctoral student received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Conference EuroSimE in Dresden in April.
Auf dem Mars, da gibt’s kein GPS – Eine Drohne findet sich auch ohne Navigationssystem zurecht. Am Institut für intelligente Systemwissenschaften an der Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt wird derzeit intensiv an der Navigation einer Marsdrohne geforscht, denn das Navigationssystem fehlt auf dem Roten Planeten. Read more