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The goal of SHERPA was to develop a mixed ground and aerial robotic platform to support search and rescue activities in a real-world hostile environment like the alpine scenario.
The technological platform and the alpine rescuing scenario were the occasion to address a number of research topics about cognition and control pertinent to the call.
What made the project rich from a scientific viewpoint was the heterogeneity and the capabilities to be owned by the different actors of the SHERPA system: the "human" rescuer was the "busy genius", working in team with the ground vehicle, as the "intelligent donkey", and with the aerial platforms, i.e. the "trained wasps" and "patrolling hawks". Indeed, the research activity focused on how the "busy genius" and the "SHERPA animals" interact and collaborate with each other, with their own features and capabilities, toward the achievement of a common goal.
A mix of advanced control and cognitive capabilities characterize the SHERPA system, aiming to support the rescuer by improving his awareness of the rescue scene even in tough environments and with the "genius" often "busy" in the rescuing activity (and thus unable to supervise the platform). Thus emphasis was placed on robust autonomy of the platform, acquisition of cognitive capabilities, collaboration strategies, natural and implicit interaction between the "genius" and the "SHERPA animals", which motivate the research activity.
Five benchmarks, inspired by real-world scenarios, drive the research and motivate demonstration activities on realistic testing sites were planned during the project.
Seven top academic groups, two SMEs, and the Italian Association of Alpine Rescuers with the role of end-user and evaluator of the project outcomes for the specific application of search and rescuing in the alpine scenario composed the consortium.    


Lorenzo Marconi

Lorenzo Marconi was born in Rimini, Italy, in 1970. He graduated in 1995 in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bologna. Since 1995 he has been with the Department of Electronics, Computer Science and Systems at University of Bologna, where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in March 1998. From 1999 he has been an Assistant Professor in the same Department where is now Associate Professor since January 2005. He has held visiting positions at and collaborations with various academic/research international institutions, such as the Washington University at St. Louis, the Imperial College at London, the Ohio State University at Columbus Ohio, the Universite ParisSud, the Mittag-Leffler Institute Sweden, l’´Ecole Nationale Sup´erieure des Mines de Paris, the University of Linz Austria. He is co-author of more than 150 technical publications on the subject of linear and nonlinear feedback design published on international journals, books and conference proceedings. He is also co-author of three international monographs. In 2005, he has been awarded jointly by Elsevier and the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) for the best paper published in the period 2002-2005 on “Automatica”. He has been also nominated ”Outstanding Reviewer” of the journal “Automatica” for his review activity in the period 2002-2003. On March 2008 he has received a “teaching fellowship” from the University of Linz - Austria. He is member of the IEEE Control System Society, of the Control System Society Conference Editorial Board and of IFAC Technical Committee ”Safety and Supervision in Technical Processes”. He is the newly appointed chair of the IFAC Technical Committee on “Nonlinear Control Systems”. Dr. Marconi has been the chair of the International Program Committee of the the 8th IFAC Workshop on nonlinear control systems (NOLCOS) held at University of Bologna on September 2010. Since 2009 is member of the Governing Board and of the Public Authority Board of the European Joint Technology Initiative Artemis. Since 2004 he has served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Control System Society Conference Editorial Board. Since 2009 is Associate Editor of IEEE Transaction on Automatic Control. He was Technical Associate Editor of the area “Nonlinear Control Systems” on the occasion of the 17th IFAC World Congress held in Seoul 2008, Area Editor of the area “Nonlinear Systems B” during the 47th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control held in Cancun 2008, Associate Editor of the area “Nonlinear control” at the joint CDC-ECC Conference held in Seville on 2005. He served in the Technical Program Committee of the last five editions of IEEE Conference on Decision and Control. Actually he is the coordinator of the European Project AIRobots (Innovative aerial service robots for remote inspections by contact) funded by the European Community within the 7th FP (Theme ICT-4-2.1) and responsible for University of Bologna of the European Projects CESAR and EDIANA funded within the JTI Artemis. His current research interests include nonlinear control, output regulation for nonlinear systems, control of autonomous aerial vehicles, robust control, fault detection and isolation, fault tolerant control.

Stand C5 (pav. 6) - ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna

Data updated on 2017-12-04 - 1.30.07 pm