Adrien Briod

Biography and current work


My goal is to develop novel navigation strategies for autonomous flying robots, pushing the boundaries of what can be done with light-weight sensors and intelligent mechanics.

I am currently working on the GimBall platform, a flying robot that can interact with the environment. I am studying how such robots can use simple techniques to better achieve tasks that are only tackled through heavy modeling in conventional approaches. I am investigating techniques for in-flight collision recovery and for navigation using interactions with obstacles, by taking inspiration from insects that navigate very reactively and bump into obstacles when they cannot see them.
In an attempt to reduce further sensing complexity for autonomous navigation, I am also studying techniques for flight control based on inertial and optic-flow sensors.


2014-present CTO and co-founder at Flyability.
2009-2013 PhD student at the LIS.
2007-2009 Master in Microengineering at EPFL - Robotics specialization.
sept 08 - jan 09 Master project at Harvard University, in the Microrobotics Laboratory
feb 08 - june 08 Semester project realized at the LIS that involved the programming and testing of a 80cm wingspan MAV, with which we also participated in a flying robot competition in Germany. We took the second place in the autonomy competition (watch the video report of the preparation and competition).
2004-2007 Bachelor in Microengineering at EPFL.
aug 06 - may 07 Exchange year at McGill University (Canada).


GimBall prototype
AirBurr prototype
The AirBurr project
Robot podcast logo
The ROBOTS Podcast


Journal Articles

A. Briod, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. A method for ego-motion estimation in micro-hovering platforms flying in very cluttered environments, in Autonomous Robots, 2015.
A. Briod, P. M. Kornatowski, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. A Collision Resilient Flying Robot, in Journal of Field Robotics, vol. 31, num. 4, p. 469-509, 2014.
A. Klaptocz, L. Daler, A. Briod, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. An Active Uprighting Mechanism for Flying Robots, in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 28, num. 5, p. 1152 - 1157, 2012.

Conference Papers

A. Briod, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. Optic-Flow Based Control of a 46g Quadrotor. Workshop on Vision-based Closed-Loop Control and Navigation of Micro Helicopters in GPS-denied Environments, IROS 2013, Tokyo, Japan, 2013.
A. Klaptocz, A. Briod, L. Daler, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. Euler Spring Collision Protection for Flying Robots. International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Tokyo, Japan, 2013.
A. Briod, P. M. Kornatowski, A. Klaptocz, A. Garnier and M. Pagnamenta et al. Contact-based navigation for an autonomous flying robot. International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Tokyo, Japan, 2013.
L. Daler, A. Klaptocz, A. Briod, M. Sitti and D. Floreano. A Perching Mechanism for Flying Robots Using a Fibre-Based Adhesive. ICRA 13, Karlsruhe, 2013.
A. Briod, A. Klaptocz, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. The AirBurr: A Flying Robot That Can Exploit Collisions. International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering (CME), 2012 ICME, Kobe, Japan, 2012.
A. Briod, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. Automatically calibrating the viewing direction of optic-flow sensors. Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2012 IEEE International Conference on, St-Paul, Minnesota, USA, 2012.
A. Klaptocz, G. Boutinard Rouelle, A. Briod, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. An Indoor Flying Platform with Collision Robustness and Self-Recovery. 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), Anchorage, Alaska, US, 2010.

PhD Theses

A. Briod, D. Floreano and J.-C. Zufferey (Dirs.). Robust Autonomous Flight in Unstructured Environments. EPFL, Lausanne, 2014.

Technical Reports

A. Briod. Review of Light-weight Payloads for MAVs and Experiments with Thermopiles, 2010.


A. Briod, J.-c. Zufferey and D. Floreano. Method to determine a direction and amplitude of a current velocity estimate of a moving device, US2015293138, 2014.
A. Briod, P. M. Kornatowski, A. Klaptocz, J.-C. Zufferey and D. Floreano. A vertical take-off and landing aerial vehicle, EP13171364, 2013.

Student works

A. Briod, D. Floreano (Dir.). Waypoint navigation with a MAV. , 2008.
A. Briod, R. Wood and D. Floreano (Dirs.). Observation of Insect Collisions. , 2008.

Adrien Briod