Address: Av. Universitat Autònoma, 23, 08290 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona

Contact us:

Aeronautical sector commercial: Anton Gorostiaga ( )

Robotics and Automation Unit Manager: Daniel Serrano( )

Technological promoter of the Robotics and Automation unit: Jesús Pablo González(

Principal Investigator of the aerial robotics line: Julián Cayero (

Who we are

Eurecat ( is the leading technology center in Catalonia and the second largest private research organization in southern Europe. Eurecat provides the business and industrial sector with differential technology and advanced knowledge to respond to the innovation needs of companies and boost their competitiveness. Likewise, in its desire to collaborate with other agents of the national innovation system, Eurecat establishes cooperation agreements and conventions with other centers that allow research and technological developments that require skills and equipment available in other centers to be carried out in a coordinated and advantageous way for companies. We are part of 22 technology platforms, 12 Digital Innovation Hubs and 37 European associations.

The following is a summary of the center’s most significant figures:

Template > 650 people Annual revenues (M€) 52
Parity (M/H) 42% / 58% Headquarters 11
Customers >1700 Spin-off 8
Patents 153 R&D consortium projects > 200
H2020 Projects (2014-2021) 118 Projects led in H2020 33

The technological specialization of the center is divided into four technological areas: Industrial, Digital, Biotechnology and Sustainability. As a whole, they have a high degree of knowledge and expertise in more than 20 scientific and technological fields, including: artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, intelligent materials, printed electronics, robotics and automation, medical devices, circular economy, climate change, nutrition and health.

The robotics and automation team works on research and development of solutions in the fields of mobile and industrial robotics. The unit focuses its main interests on improving and increasing the reliability of autonomous systems operating in realistic scenarios, as well as the development of new applications. In the last 15 years, the unit has executed more than 125 research projects, including European (20), national (20) and private projects focused on technology transfer.

Main lines of research

The Robotics and Automation Unit channels its activities into five main areas that work flexibly and jointly for the research and development of advanced solutions in applications related to industrial and service robotics in multiple sectors.

  • Manipulation and collaboration

    He works on the development and implementation of algorithms for the control, path planning and apprehension of manipulator robots capable of interacting with the environment, other robotic agents and humans in manufacturing, healthcare and smart cities applications.

  • Terrestrial Robotics

    Focused on the development of applications requiring ground robot navigation in unstructured environments, including fleet coordination and obstacle avoidance for the logistics, health and agriculture sectors.

  • Aerial robotics

    Expertise in aircraft design, localization, mapping, trajectory planning, control strategies and implementation of abstraction layers for autonomous and semi-autonomous operations applied to navigation, logistics, monitoring, inspection, security and search and rescue solutions in unstructured indoor and outdoor environments.

  • Perception

    Focused on the understanding of the environment, this line uses AI for the integration of multimodal information, detection, classification, segmentation of defects, moving objects etc, with particular expertise in the processing of large datasets from image sensors and lasers.

  • Cognitive robotics

    Aiming to improve the natural interaction of the robot with its environment, this line focuses on learning, either by imitation or reinforcement, learning transfer and the study of human-robot interactions. With a particular presence in health and affective robotics projects, this line also supports research in industrial applications and inspection.

Main R&D&I projects

The most outstanding projects related to the aerial robotics research line are presented below.

  • Inspection in confined spaces

    Development of autonomous navigation algorithms, anomaly detection and automatic report generation for the inspection of indoor environments. Specific applications to sewerage in Barcelona (FCC) and railway tunnel in Rome (RFI)

    ARSI Project (Aerial Robot for Sewer Inspection):

    Assets4Rail Project (Measurement, monitoring and data management for railway assets, bridges, tunnels, tracks and safety systems):

  • Monitoring of natural areas and construction

    Detection of invasive species in the Ebro Delta (Catalonia), segmentation of natural areas in urban environments for environmental policies (H2020-NATURE4CITIES) and monitoring of civil works (H2020-BUILT2SPEC).

    NATURE4CITIES Project:

    Built2Spec Project:

  • Safety and rescue projects

    Coordination of robot fleets for rescue and salvage tasks (FP7-ICARUS) and Drones for environmental monitoring and safety in port environments (H2020-GSA-PASSPORT).

    ICARUS Project:

  • Drones for factory and warehouse logistics

    SEAT drone strategy. Design and integration of an autonomous aerial platform for logistic tasks in factory environments with obstacle detection, planning, mapping, localization, precision landing and abstraction layers for the operation of inexperienced operators.

    Factory logistics drone project:

Awards and recognitions

  • Three international awards from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) in 2016 during euRathlon participation:
    • Best Innovation on the UAV Domain
    • Best Autonomy Award and
    • Best Multi-Robot Coordination Award
  • The first legal drone flight in Brusels during the European civil protection forum DG_ECHO in 2015

Services offered

The catalog of the robotics unit extends into each of the aforementioned lines of research. Below are only the services related to the aerial robotics branch.

  • Tailor-made developments for aircraft onboard intelligence integration

Integration of perception, control and navigation algorithms to increase the dexterity and autonomy of aircraft with autonomous flight capabilities. Oriented to drone operators and platform developers.

  • Proof-of-concept and turnkey development for end-users

Implementation of proofs of concept, technology evaluation and customized developments to solve customer problems. Targeting transferable and licensable products for direct exploitation by the end user or third parties.

  • Design support and component selection

Platform design support service, actuator sizing, sensor selection and integration as well as on-board systems. Oriented to manufacturers or platform developers.