Mark Muller, 20 Feb 2015

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Mark Müller, a PhD student at ETH in Zurich working with Raff D'Andrea, will visit Caltech on 19-20 Feb 2015 and give a group seminar.



  • 4:30p: Richard Murray, 109 Steele Lab
  • 5:30p: Open
  • 6:00p: Dinner - if anyone is interested in taking Mark to dinner, sign up here (CDS will cover)


  • 10:00a: Open
  • 10:45a: Open
  • 11:30a: Set up for seminar and grab lunch
  • 12:00p: Lunchtime seminar, 107 ANB
  • 1:15p: Hold - Larry Matthies (meet in 107 after seminar)
  • 2:00p: Open
  • 2:45p: Open
  • 3:30p: Open
  • 4:15p: Open
  • 5:00p: Done for the day

Seminar info

Speaker: Mark Mueller
Date & Time: Friday, February 20th (12pm)
Location: 107 Annenberg
Affiliation: ETH Zurich

Multicopters are predicted to increasingly become part of our everyday lives, with applications including delivery services, entertainment, and aerial sensing. These systems are expected to be safe and to have a high degree of autonomy. An important aspect of autonomy is the ability to plan motions that fulfill high-level goals, which will be the topic of the first part of the talk. A quadrocopter trajectory generation scheme will be described that can evaluate and compare on the order of one million motion primitives per second. These motion primitives are designed to be fast to compute and verify (at the expense of optimality), while being flexible with respect to initial and final states. This allows to encode highly dynamic tasks with complicated end goals.

The second part of the talk will cover some results on quadrocopter safety, specifically an algorithm that allows a quadrocopter to maintain flight despite the complete loss of some propellers. In particular, it is shown that such a vehicle remains controllable about hover even if only a single propeller remains operable. In addition to the failsafe aspect for quadrocopters, this allows for the design of novel vehicles, having fewer than four propellers.


Mark W. Mueller is currently a doctoral candidate with Prof. Raffaello D'Andrea at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at the ETH Zurich. He received the B.Eng. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria in 2009, and the M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the ETH Zurich in 2011. He received awards for the best mechanical engineering thesis, and the best aeronautical thesis, for his bachelors thesis in 2008, and received the Jakob Ackeret award from the Swiss Association of Aeronautical Sciences for his masters thesis in 2011. His masters studies were supported by a scholarship from the Swiss Government.