Artificial Intelligence for Small Autonomous Robots

Small, light-weight flying robots such as the 20-gram DelFly Explorer form an extreme challenge to Artificial Intelligence, because of the strict limitations in onboard sensors, processing, and memory. I try to uncover general principles of intelligence that will allow such limited, small robots to perform complex tasks.

Computer Vision

Vision is a prime sense for both animals and robots. I create efficient vision algorithms for robot control and navigation.


Fruit flies are able to fly, avoid obstacles, navigate, and socially interact with each other with only a 100,000 neurons. Insects are a rich source of inspiration for elegant, efficient AI.

Real-world Robotics

As Rodney Brooks said: "Simulation is doomed to succeed" - I focus on problems actually faced by robots in the real world.

Open Science

I stand for an open science, in which articles, code and data is openly and more efficiently shared between researchers and the public.

Current research projects

Please click below to have a look at a selection of my current research projects.

Latest News

Optical flow and a motion model suffice for attitude estimation.

Nature article reveals how flying insects and drones can discern up from down

Posted By Admin

We have developed a new theory on how flying drones and insects can estimate the gravity direction. Whereas drones typically use accelerometers to this end, the way in which flying insects do this is shrouded in mystery, since they lack a specific sense for acceleration. In an article published today in┬áNature, scientists from TU Delft, […]

okt 19,2022No Comments
The parsimony of insect intelligence stems in part from their embodiment and capabilities of sensory-motor coordination and swarming.

Insect-inspired AI for autonomous robots

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Insect-inspired AI for autonomous robots Small autonomous mobile robots, such as drones, rovers, and legged robots, promise to perform a wide range of tasks, from autonomously monitoring crops in greenhouses to last-kilometer delivery. These applications require robots to operate for extended periods while performing complex tasks, often in unknown, changing, and complicated environments. In an […]

jun 15,2022No Comments
Drone flying autonomously in a greenhouse to monitor the crop.

Self-flying drones that monitor greenhouse diseases and pests

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We have teamed up with Royal Brinkman and start-up Mapture to develop AI and drone technology for greenhouse monitoring. These lightweight drones are able to take off, navigate without GPS, collect critical data, and land in a box fully autonomously. Through the data collected, greenhouses could monitor the health and growth of plants, and detect […]

mei 31,2022No Comments