So far, flying robots have demonstrated great success in remote sensing and visual inspection tasks. However, there are many tasks that require physical contact in difficult- to-access areas, including contact-based inspection and the painting, coating and cleaning of elevated structures. The quadcopters that are currently on the market are incapable of executing physical work by design, and this is where Voliro innovation comes in.
Voliro is developing the next generation of autonomous flying robots, an omnidirectional platform with the unique capability to approach, touch and interact with the environment.
This expands the abilities of service drones from “flying and seeing” to “flying, seeing and touching.” Voliro robots are “Hands in the Sky.” This novel ability to interact with the environment through a flying platform opens the door to large markets in which construction or maintenance tasks require additional infrastructure. Such tasks include non-destructive infrastructure inspection, which often requires a sensor to be in contact with structures; the spraying of fluids to clean building facades; the cleaning of walls and windows; the painting and coating of surfaces; and even firefighting through the windows of buildings.
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Mina Kamel joined Wyss Zurich in October 2019 as Co-Project Leader of Voliro. He is Co-Founder and CEO of Voliro AG, spin-off from ETH Zurich developing advanced aerial robots for inspection and maintenance tasks. Prior to joining Wyss Zurich, Mina completed his PhD studies at the Autonomous Systems Lab of ETH Zurich. During his PhD, he focused on control and design of aerial manipulation systems. During this engagement, he led and supervised several projects. Mina holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Robotics Systems and Control (2014) from ETH Zurich. In 2019 he is selected among 100 Digital Shapers in Switzerland by Bilanz business magazine.
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Timo Müller is the Co-Founder and CTO of Voliro AG. Timo received his MSc in Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich in 2018. While completing his Master’s thesis, he developed the concept and a first prototype of Voliro’s omnidirectional aerial robot. Timo is in charge of the mechanical development of the Voliro platforms and responsible for flight performance and business-related topics. Prior to joining Voliro, he was involved in research projects with Disney Research Zurich. He also spent six years as a member of the Swiss national ski cross team.
Anurag Vempati joined Wyss Zurich in September 2019 as a Robotics Engineer of the Voliro project. He is a Co-Founder of Voliro AG, where he focuses on path planning algorithms for automated inspection and spraying technology with UAVs. He is also actively involved in UI development of user-friendly interfaces to Voliro's UAV solutions. Anurag obtained his PhD at Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) at ETH Zurich where he was developing UAV based solutions for spraying and painting maintenance tasks. During his PhD, he was collaborating with Disney Research to bring this technology to their theme parks. Prior to his PhD, Anurag obtained his MTech degree in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 2014. He also briefly worked with the Fixed-wing group at ASL to develop victim detection pipeline in a search and rescue scenario with fixed-wing planes, as a part of a European project SHERPA.
Florian Braun joined Wyss Zurich in October 2019 as a Robotics Engineer of the Voliro Project. Florian focuses on the hardware development for flying robotic systems. He received his MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from HSR in 2017. During his studies he focused on the development of mechatronic and robotic systems. He gained experience in autonomous robotics and assistive technologies. After his studies, he joined the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich and the Institute for Lab Automation and Mechatronics at HSR.
Manager Communication and Administration
Nicola Deboys joined Wyss Zurich in August 2020 as Manager Communication and Administration for Voliro. Nicola is responsible for Voliro’s internal communications and process optimization, for external communications and administrative matters. Originally from the UK, Nicola holds degrees from the University of Oxford (BA German, MSt German). She has worked for the University of Cambridge and for two UK Government Departments. In Switzerland, she previously worked for the University of St.Gallen (HSG) as School Manager of the School of Economics and Political Science, where she was responsible for the overall administration of the School. Nicola is Voliro’s voice on social media, while internally, she has a strong focus on establishing efficient, empowering processes for the Voliro team.
Marius Fehr joined Wyss Zurich in June 2020. He is Co-Founder of Voliro AG, a spin-off from ETH Zurich developing advanced aerial robots for inspection and maintenance tasks. Prior to joining Wyss Zurich, Marius completed his PhD studies at the Autonomous Systems Lab of ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Roland Siegwart. He was a member of the laboratory’s mapping and localization research team and focused on visual-inertial and dense mapping as well as exploration for autonomous robots. Prior to his PhD, he completed his MSc degree in Robotics, Systems, and Control from ETH Zürich.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Florian Gutzwiller joined Wyss Zurich in May 2020 as an Entrepreneur in Residence of the Voliro project. He is the founder of Open Systems AG, a cybersecurity firm established in 1991 and sold to a PE investor in 2017. Florian started his career at ETH (Integrated Systems Laboratory) during the introduction of Internet access in the late ’80s. He is an active Angel Investor in Information Technology and Aerospace. Florian is working with Voliro to emphasize strategic focus and rapid commercial execution.
Dario Mammolo joined Wyss Zurich in October 2019 as Robotics Engineer of the Voliro project. Dario is focusing on software development in the area of PX4 flight control software. Dario received his MSc in Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich in 2019. During his studies, he gained knowledge in robotics, control and machine learning. He is experienced in reinforcement learning for robot manipulation and developed an active SLAM algorithm for crowded environments using 2D LIDARs. Afterwards, he joined the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, where he contributed a great part to the active SLAM algorithm including RGB-D data.
Daniel Mouritzen joined Wyss Zurich in June 2020 as a Robotics Engineer of the Voliro project. Daniel holds an MSc in Robotics, Systems, and Control from ETH Zurich (2020) and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from DTU (2017). During his studies, he focused on vision-based mapping and artificial intelligence for mobile robots. He is experienced with Embedded Systems, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, Deep Learning, and Reinforcement Learning. Daniel will focus his efforts on improving the robustness and autonomous capabilities of Voliro's aerial robots.
Lead Business Development
Loris Niederberger holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of St. Gallen and a Master’s in International Management from CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management Education. Loris started his career at Implenia AG, the largest construction company in Switzerland, as an intern at the Corporate Center, where he worked in the Business Development, Investor Relations and Reporting department. He later worked for swissnex China in Shanghai and in the Science, Technology and Education department of the Swiss Embassy in Beijing, promoting Swiss innovation and education in China. While serving as an assistant to Dr. Konrad Hummler at M1 AG, Loris gained valuable expertise in the fields of consulting, investments and public relations. Loris is currently responsible for business development at Voliro AG.
Nicolas Scheidt holds an MSc in Robotics, Systems and Control from ETH Zurich (2019). During his studies, he focused on autonomous mobile systems and completed a thesis on multi-modal state estimation for the Voliro platform. During that time, he also worked on user-focused software engineering projects for clients in the turbine machine industry while employed at SoftART Zurich AG. Upon completion of his Master's degree, he joined the mapping team at ETH’s Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) in developing the entire SLAM stack on various mobile platforms. With his experience in mapping and state-estimation for aerial systems, he will focus on elevating Voliro’s autonomous capabilities.
Thomas Schneider received a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich, focusing on methods of fault-tolerant control of multi-rotor platforms. After completing his studies, he joined a young startup where he was responsible for the embedded control stack of a quad-rotor platform. In collaboration with ETH Zurich, Thomas co-authored an open-source calibration framework for visual and inertial sensors. Thomas subsequently joined the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, where he pursued a PhD degree in robotics and computer vision under the supervision of Prof. Siegwart. His research focused on robust visual–inertial motion estimation, mapping and online sensor calibration for robot guidance.
Leonie Traffelet holds an MSc in Robotics, Systems and Control from ETH (2019). She started her work on drones during an internship at Auterion AG. This led her to focus her Master's degree on computer vision for autonomous vehicles, including multi-camera visual-interial odometry for drones. Eventually, Leonie completed her master thesis at Sevensense, another Wyss Zurich project, with the focus on multi-modal global localization with LiDAR and vision. At Voliro she will use her experience of drones in both hardware and software, to focus on the mechanical design and testing of Voliro.