The prototype of the Tele-MAGMaS team presented during the meeting between Robotics Place / LAAS-CNRS

Monday, 12 June, 2017

The projet proposed by the Tele-MAGMaS international team, coordinated by Antonio Franchi (CNRS researcher at LAAS, RIS team), has been one of the five projects selected in Fall 2016 by a panel of international experts for the Kuka Innovation Award 2017 where they demonstrated a world’s first prototype of Multiple Aerial-Ground Manipulator System (MAGMaS) at the Hannover Fair, on April 2017. This project, based on the cooperation between grounding and flying robotic manipulators, has been presented at a meeting between Robotics Place and the LAAS-CNRS, on June 13th.


The MAGMaS prototype

In less than five months of intense work, the Tele-MAGMaS team has been able to conceive, design and build a first prototypical MAGMaS system. A MAGMaS is any complex system of systems composed by both grounded and flying robotic manipulators cooperating together in the manipulation of long or oddly shaped objects. The main objective of these system sis to benefit from the use of flying robotic manipulators in order to push forward the capabilities of grounded mobile manipulatirs, allowing, e. g., the handling of long, large and possibly flexible loads. The so called « heterogeneity » is the crucial characteristic of a MAGMaS, since it allows to combine together the strength and precision of the grounded robotic arms and the virtually unlimited workspace of flying vehicles.

The Tele-MAGMaS prototypical robot is composed by three parts: a new aerial system, called “OTHex”, designed by LAAS-CNRS; a 7-Dof robotic arm by Kuka called “LBR iiwa”; and a 3-DoF haptic interface from Force Dimension called “Omega.3”. The three systems are connected together through a communication network. This system will find his real world application in a multiplicity of fields, such as, e. g., search and rescue, logistics and factories of the future.

The prototypical robot presented at the Hannover fair is just the first step toward the realization of a fully mature MAGMaS. A long way has yet to be travelled by researchers in order to make MAGMaS applicable and beneficial to real world scenarios. Indeed, these new systems must be able to grasp, co-manipulate and physically interact with the environment with good accuracy and precision and without losing their stability. The main challenges that researchers are facing of are the realization of a high level of autonomy, versatility, and safety, the need to design a new generation of aerial systems and new classes of algorithms to drive them, and the need for online and real-time control, optimization and planning methods for a large and complex heterogeneous multi-robot system with the need to account for humans in the loop as well.


The Robotics Scientific Department of LAAS-CNRS conducts research along several fields for many decades. Although some of these research are at their beginning, others are at a stage of maturity allowing to consider the potentialities of industrial valorisation. The aim of this meeting is to present an overview of the problems handled today as part of international academic and industrial collaborations, and their possible industrial outlets as well. On this occasion, the MAGMaS system of the Tele-MAGMaS team will be demonstrated (simultaneous and cooperating manipulation between a drone and an industrial manipulator on the ground).


* The 4 institutions compositing the Tele-MAGMaS team: LAAS, IRISA, University of Siena, and Seoul National University

** A. Franchi, N. Staub, D. Bicego, V. Arrellano, Q. Sablé, S. Mishra




> 16 h- accueil par Florent Lamiraux, roboticien, directeur adjoint du LAAS-CNRS
 - présentation des recherches en robotique au LAAS-CNRS (download the presentation)
 - présentation du projet européen AEROARMS, par Antonio Franchi, roboticien (download the presentation)
> 16 h 45 - 17 hdémonstration de drones : projet Tele-MAGMaS, finaliste du défi KUKA à la foire de Hanovre
> 17 h 30présentation de posters, du projet DGA RAPID SERVAT, exhibition et discussions autour des robots Pyrène, Two!Ears, AirCobot…