IPC Committee at the 2017 25th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation

The Mediterranean Control Association and the Organising Committee of the 25th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation have the pleasure of inviting you to participate in MED 2017 to be held on the 3-6 July 2017 in Valletta, Malta. The conference will include tutorials and workshops, a technical program of presentations, and keynote lectures covering a wide range of topics on systems, automation, robotics and control including theory, hardware, software, communication technologies and applications. MED 2017 offers a great opportunity for academics, researchers and industrial players working in control and automation to socialise and network together, present their research progress and address new challenges in the field. MED 2017 is technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Control Systems Society and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.


Special Track at the 12th International Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC'16)

Co-organizing a special track at the 12th International Symposium on Visual Computing, at Las Vegas, Nevada in December 12-14, 2016. The session is entitled "Advancing Autonomy for Aerial Robotics" and more information can be found here:

Scope Aerial robots are currently at the forefront of robotic research and have managed to raise great interest within our societies. Market estimates predict a –wider than ever expected– vast integration of such technologies in a variety of commercial and professional applications. Enabling factors for this trend are the miniaturization and great cost reduction of the enabling technologies, in combination with the dazzling progress in the fields of modeling and aerodynamics, pioneering mechanical design, avionics, advanced motion control, machine learning, sensing and estimation, computer vision, path planning, decision–making and autonomous behaviors, distributed, networked and multi–agent systems, as well as human–robot interaction. Within this special track, we aim to investigate and discuss what is still missing towards achieving advanced navigational and operational autonomy for aerial robots. Towards a productive event, we welcome papers from all the relevant scientific fields and disciplines, solid contributions or promising preliminary results that break new ground and try to advance, robustify and increase the reliability of aerial robots. Furthermore, we invite application–oriented papers that present new methods and solutions towards the goal of integrating aerial robotics as a new class of intelligent agents able to support our collective societal needs.

AEROWORKS @ IROS 2016 with a Special Session on "Towards the realization of the Aerial Robotic Workers"

Aim and Scope

Infrastructure is the foundation that connects our resources, energy flows, business, communities and people, driving our economy and improving our quality of life. For the global economies in order to retain and strengthen their competitiveness, a new class of advanced tools and methods is required. This special session focuses on this need and aims to provide aerial robotic infrastructure inspection and maintenance solutions as a next­generation methodology and tool to improve infrastructure services.

More specifically, the aim of this innovative special session is to contribute to the discussions on the state of the art and the future trends towards the concept of “Collaborative Aerial Robotic Workers” that envisions a team of collaborative aerial systems equipped with advanced environmental perception and 3D reconstruction, active aerial manipulation, intelligent task planning, and multi­agent collaboration capabilities. Such a team of Aerial Robotic Workers will be capable of autonomously inspecting infrastructure facilities and acting in order to execute a maintenance task by means of aerial manipulation and exploiting multi­robot collaboration.

The proposal of this special session is aiming in highlighting the early state of the art scientific contributions from the Horizon 2020 AEROWORKS project, which is leading the aerial robotic developments in Europe, while integrating significant contributions from other scientific teams working in the same area and other collaborative projects, while exchanging success stories and enabling an international collaboration under this thematic umbrella.

List of main topics

This special session aims at attracting state of the art articles in order to investigate the underlined emerging scientific challenges of decentralized multi­robot collaboration, path­ planning, control for aerial collaborative manipulation, aerial manipulator design, autonomous localization, as well as, cooperative environmental perception and reconstruction. Topics of interest include, without being limited to.

Special Session on "Fault Detection, Fault Diagnosis and Fault tolerant control of real life systems" @MED 2016

In recent years a plethora of methods have been proposed for the problem of Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) of electro-mechanical systems, employing state
of the art approaches from the fields of signal processing, artificial intelligence and
modeling, with remarkable results. In parallel to these FDD approaches, Fault-
Tolerant Control (FTC) is also emerging as a significant approach after the FDD in
order to ensure that the system will work, even under the presence of faults. 
However most of these approaches have been only tested within laboratory
settings under fully controlled experimental protocols. Therefore, their actual merit is
yet to be proven within industrial settings and in more realistic conditions while
considering, apart from the presence of noise, the computational and space limitations of an industrial environment. 

This special session intends to attract research papers that can demonstrate
the effectiveness of proposed FDD and FTC methods under real life scenarios, thus
bridging the gap between theory and practice, while bringing closer academics with
people working in the industry.

Special Session Proposers

Prof. Mohamed Benbouzid
University of Brest
Brest, France

Dr. George Georgoulas
Luleå University of Technology
Luleå, Sweden

Prof. George Nikolakopoulos
Luleå University of Technology
Luleå, Sweden

Special Session on "Aerial Manipulators’ Design and Control" @MED 2016

We are organizing a special sesson on Aerial Manipulators Design and Control at the 24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation.


Aerial manipulators are a new class of mobile robots characterized by a high degree of mobility and dexterity, due to their capability to fly and perform manipulation operation airborne. However, the intrinsic floating base nature of aerial manipulators give origin to problems that prevent from exploiting the full capabilities of aerial manipulators when deployed in real life applications. Among the major problems, the lack of proper disturbance rejection for the attitude of the aerial manipulator represents the bottleneck for a realistic future deployment of such technology. Unlike fixed base manipulators, when aerial manipulators are subject to external disturbances (interaction force, unpredictable wind gusts), but also when the manipulator simply performs internal motion of its joints, both the attitude and the position control of the aerial manipulator can be destabilized, leading to extreme undesired consequences for the aerial platform. This effect clearly indicates that a classical approach to both the design and the control of the aerial manipulator is not sufficient, in order to fully exploit the capabilities of an aerial manipulator.

This special session aims at attracting state of the art articles on innovative aerial manipulator’s design, from concept to testing and their control in operations involving physical interaction airborne. 

Special Session Proposers

Assistant Prof Matteo Fumagalli
Robotics, Vision and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,
Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark

Prof. George Nikolakopoulos
Robotics Group
Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering
Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.

Prof. Stefano Stramigioli
Robotics And Mechatronics,
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Matematics and Computer Science
University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands


New Grant acquired for the further development of motion labs for assessment of motor control among humans and robots

Luleå University of Technology Lab Fund has granted 1,2 milj SEK to develop LTUs motion labs. A joint application was made by the Health Sciences, HLV, and Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, SRT, Departments. 

For further reading, please visit: http://www.ltu.se/org/hlv/Nyheter/Rorelselabb-utvecklar-matningar-och-metoder-1.129981?l=en



FETopen proposal in H2020 has been Granted - CompInnova

I am participating and leading the robotics activities in the FETopen project CompInnova : An Advanced Methodology for the Inspection and Quantification of Damage in Aerospace Composites and Metals using an Innovative Approach. The project has 5 partners and an overall budget of 2.5M Euros of which 500K Euros are allocated for LTU. The project duration is 42 months starting from September 2015.

CompInnova has been inspired by the innovative need for more efficient and reliable damage inspection, reducing time and cost of aircraft infrastructures, as well as maintenance-especially C and D Checks- without compromising the safety of passengers and goods transported. The CompInnova project is focused upon the development of an innovative inspection methodology, with automated and manual capabilities, for any type of composite and metallic aircraft structures. The novel structural integrity approach is comprised by three parts: a qualified Phased Array (PA) and Infrared Thermography (IRT) method attached to a mobile Vortex robot, a Damage Tolerance (DT) structural integrity assessment technique processed on a computer and an innovative repair system. 

ARTEMIS news: Robots on the rise -- one year into the R5-COP project

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Our developments in the ARTEMIS project R5-COP in the area of UGVs and field robotics have been mentioned in the this ARTEMIS news letter. In this project LTU and SSC are building an autonomous UGV based on a Toyota Land Cruiser for the application area of search and rescue.

For further reading:




Special Session on Fault Diagnosis Methods in Electric Drives

Induction motors from a fraction of kW up to several MWs constitute the driving force of the industry due their low cost, simple construction and robustness. However, no matter how robust the induction motors are, they can still suffer from electrical and mechanical faults that can lead to failures and production shutdowns. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to detect a fault as precisely as possible and as early as possible before culminating to a failure. Due to the fact that the Motor Current Signature Analysis (MCSA) methods, the predominant approaches for fault diagnosis, break down when dealing with non-stationary conditions or very low loading conditions, there is a constant need for new tools and novel approached that can cope with non-stationary conditions.

This special session is intended to attract research papers showing novel methods and approaches to the area of fault diagnosis in electric motors, focusing on non-stationary and variable load conditions.

Topics of interest include, without being limited to:
• Data driven fault diagnosis methods of electric motors/drives
• Model based fault diagnosis methods of electric motors/drives
• Non-stationary variable load condition monitoring of electric motors • Condition monitoring of inverter-fed motors
• Wind turbine condition monitoring 

George Georgoulas and George Nikolakopoulos

Vetenskapsrådet-Swedish Research Council Research Project in Medicine and Health Granted

Our application to VR entitled "New understanding of motor control and falls by novel postural sway analysis, robotics and mathematical modelling" has been granted.

The research project is a multidisciplinary combination of efforts from the areas of Physiotherapy, Motor Control, Automatic Control Systems and Robotics, with a total duration of 4 years and a total budget of 4.8M SEK. LTU is participating in the project with the Health Sciences (HLV)  and Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering (SRT) Departments.

In this call in total 180 out of 909 applications have been approved. For further reading:


Listed No. 20 in the Top 25 Hottest Articles in Control Engineering Practice, Elsevier

Listed No.20 in the Top 25 Hottest Articles from April to June 2014 at Control Engineering Practice, Elsevier - Alexis, K.; Nikolakopoulos, G.; Tzes, A., "Switching model predictive attitude control for a quad rotor helicopter subject to atmospheric disturbances"


H2020 Proposal AEROWORKS has been granted

I am co-ordinating the H2020 research proposal AEROWORKS, which has been submitted in the area of ICT and Robotics. The proposal has 10 partners and an overall budget of 5.6 Euros of which 1.0M Euros are dedicated for LTU. 

With aging infrastructure in developing-and-developed countries, and with the gradual expansion of distributed installations, the costs of inspection and repair tasks have been growing vastly and incessantly. To address this reality, a major paradigm shift is required, in order to procure the highly automated, efficient, and reliable solutions that will not only reduce costs, but will also minimize risks to personnel and asset safety. AEROWORKS envisions a novel aerial robotic team that possesses the capability to autonomously conduct infrastructure inspection and maintenance tasks, while additionally providing intuitive and user-friendly interfaces to human-operators.

The AEROWORKS robotic team will consist of multiple heterogeneous “collaborative Aerial Robotic Workers”, a new class of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles equipped with dexterous manipulators, novel physical interaction and co-manipulation control strategies, perception systems, and planning intelligence. This new generation of worker-robots will be capable of autonomously executing infrastructure inspection and maintenance works. The AEROWORKS multi-robot team will operate in a decentralized fashion, and will be characterized by unprecedented levels of reconfigurability, mission dependability, mapping fidelity, and manipulation dexterity, integrated in robust and reliable systems that are rapidly deployable and ready- to-use as an integral part of infrastructure service operations.

As the project aims for direct exploitation in the infrastructure services market, its results will be demonstrated and evaluated in realistic and real infrastructure environments, with a clear focus on increased Technology Readiness Levels. The accomplishment of the envisaged scenarios will boost the European infrastructure sector, contribute to the goal of retaining Europe’s competitiveness, and particularly impact our service and industrial robotics sector, drastically changing the landscape of how robots are utilized. 

H2020 DISIRE proposal has been granted

I am co-ordinating the H2020 research proposal DISIRE which has been submitted in the area of NMP and SPIRE Integrated Process Control area. The proposal has 15 partners and an overall budget of 6 Euros of which 1.6M Euros are dedicated for LTU. 

The DISIRE project has been inspired by the real existing needs of multiple industrial sectors, including the world leading industrial partners in the non-ferrous, ferrous, chemical and steel industries that are highly connected and already affiliated with the SPIRE PPP and its objectives. The overall clear and measurable objective of the DISIRE project is to evolve the existing industrial processes by advancing the Sustainable Process Industry through an overall Resource and Energy efficiency by the technological breakthroughs and concepts of the DISIRE technological platform in the field of Industrial Process Control (IPC).

With the DISIRE project the properties of the raw materials or product flows will be dramatically integrated by their transformation in a unique inline measuring system that will extend the level of knowledge and awareness of the internal dynamics of the undergoing processes taking place during transformation or integration of raw materials in the next levels of production. In this approach, the Integrated Process Control system, instead of having external experts to tune the overall processes, based on the DISIRE concept will enable the self reconfiguration of all the production lines by the produced products itself.

Specific DISIRE Process Analyzer Technology (PAT) will be able to define quality and performance requirements, that for the first time in the process industry will be able to be directly applied on the physical properties of the developed products and thus enabling the overall online and product specific reconfiguration of the control system. In this way, the whole production can be fully integrated in a holistic approach from the raw materials to the end product, allowing the multiple process reconfigurations and an optimal operation based on the product’s properties that can be generalized in a whole product production cycle being spanned in multiple cross- sectorial processes. 

Bi-Anual Best Paper Award - IET Control Theory and Applications

Journal "Model predictive quadrotor control: attitude, altitude and position experimental studies", K. Alexis, G. Nikolakopoulos, A. Tzes, IET Control Theory & Applications, Volume 6, issue 12, August 2012, p. 1812 - 1827.", has received the Premium Award from IET Control Theory and Applications, for recognizing the best research article published during the last two years.

Information about the prize can be located here: 


Access to the full article: