AERIAL-CORE is a Research and Innovation Actions funded by the European H2020 Programme (Information and Communication Technologies) on “Robotics Core Technology”.

AERIAL-CORE project is pushing the limits of aerial robotics developing worldwide new drone technologies through the application of Artificial Intelligence.

AERIAL-CORE developments aim to maintain and consolidate Europe’s leadership in aerial robotics research and innovation for applications such as inspection and maintenance, shaping the future of cognitive aerial robotics.

The goal is to apply aerial robots to reduce the risk, time and cost associated with human operators working at height, which is a main cause of fatal workplace accidents.

The AERIAL-CORE drones will have unprecedented capabilities in terms of operational range and safety of drones interacting with people in applications such as the inspection and maintenance of large linear infrastructures.

The new drones will be able to change their configuration during flight in order to save energy and fly kilometres, but they will also be able to hover for accurate local observation and to land or perch in very constrained surfaces.

Some AERIAL-CORE drones will be aerial robots with arms in order to perform manipulation with force interactions while flying or perching.

Moreover, AERIAL-CORE drones will operate as aerial-coworkers, helping humans in works at height providing them tools and monitoring their safety.

The AERIAL-CORE system will integrate aerial robots with different characteristics and will be able to meet the requirements of:

  • Long range and very accurate local inspection of the infrastructure
  • Maintenance activities based on aerial manipulation involving force interactions
  • Aerial co-working safely and efficiently helping human workers in inspection and maintenance

AERIAL-CORE will be validated and demonstrated in a very relevant application, which is the inspection and maintenance of electrical power lines. This application involves long-range inspection of the electrical power system with lines of many Kilometres combined with accurate local inspections, manipulation interventions to perform maintenance tasks, and to install devices that will avoid bird collisions with the lines, preserving wildlife. Aerial co-working will also be implemented to help workers in electric lines and towers maintenance activities.

AERIAL-CORE technologies and products will have many other application possibilities. It has been estimated that drones will reduce inspection costs by more than 13 billion every year and AERIAL-CORE will add many new maintenance applications by aerial manipulation and co-working with humans.

The entity coordinating the AERIAL-CORE consortium is the University of Seville (GRVC Robotics Laboratory). This consortium consists of 10 institutions (Universities and Research and Technology Centres) leading the Research and Innovation of aerial robotics, 4 very innovative companies and an end-user, which is a large company dealing with the validation application. They have all the equipment and facilities required for the execution and validation of the developments, including segregated aerial space area of 1.000 km2 and 5.000 ft height with electrical lines to perform validation experiments.

The role of CIRCE in AERIAL-CORE is to develop the inductive wireless charging station for the drones that will be used for visual inspection of the transmission lines.


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