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Revolutionizing Unmanned Vehicles


The Unmanned Vehicle Systems facility is a research laboratory created for the development of systems targeted for the enhancement of mobile robotics including artificial intelligence and formal techniques applicable to aerial, ground, underwater as well as humanoid robotics.


Currently, we have six main projects where each project consists of a number of sub-projects each investigating and developing control, navigation, manipulation, human-robot interaction, and other areas within the unmanned vehicle systems area.


The research group of the Unmanned Vehicle Systems lab is mainly composed of researchers, scientific personnel & graduate students. Since its creation in 2004, the Lab has trained a number of students working in the area of unmanned vehicles.




The Unmanned Vehicles (UVs) Robotics laboratory, created in 2004 and directed by Dr. Alex Ramirez-Serrano, is part of the Dept. of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering at the Univ. of Calgary. The laboratory performs Research and Development (R&D) activities in the following general areas:


  • Unconventional Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS): Develop new robot design mechanisms to enhance ground (UGV), aerial (UAV), and underwater (UUV) vehicles enabling them to be able to cope with unpredictable situations, move faster, and be fully autonomous.    

  • Reconfigurable mobile hybrid robots: Develop systems that can autonomously (physically and behavior-based) adapt to their surroundings.

  • Humanoid robotics: Develop human-robot interaction mechanisms and faster navigation tools for humanoid and other types of walking robots using the robot's entire body to improve motion and movement in confined spaces.  

  • Swarm robotics: Develop cooperation and navigation mechanisms to enable groups of heterogeneous/homogeneous teams of robots including marsupial, and UGVs + UAVs achieve efficient operation and enhance the use of their available resources if and when failures occur. 

  • Intelligent control for UVS: Apply formal as well as artificial intelligence mechanisms for the control of highly non-linear robotic systems having a high number of degrees of freedom (DOF) under the presence or external and internal disturbances.

  • Mobile manipulators: Develop effective UAVs, UGVs, and Underwater unmanned vehicles with robot manipulators to enable them to interact with their surroundings.





  • Urban Search & Rescue: Use robots in the three main phases of Urban Search& Rescue (USAR) operations: Sizeup, Search, and Rescue (e.g., deployed in collapsed buildings).

  • Construction and Mining: Use robots in areas/spaces where traditional robots cannot access or eliminate the need for humans to be exposed to hazardous conditions (e.g., inspection of storage tanks in the oil and gas industry, sewer inspection and maintenance, etc).

  • Inspection of critical infrastructure: Deploy robots to perform inspection, maintenance, and repair work on critical infrastructure such as mines, power lines, sewer systems, pipeline gas leak detection, etc.

  • Humanoid robotics for pediatric care:  Use intelligent highly adaptable humanoid robots to distract children undergoing any medical procedure while enabling nurses and doctors to be more effective and work faster while enhancing children's medical experience.


Dr. Alex Ramirez-Serrano

Professor, P.Eng., Director UVS Robotarium lab.

University of Calgary

Schulich School of Engineering

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

2500 University Drive N.W.

Calgary, Alberta,  T2N 1N4, Canada

Office:  MEB-523

Tel:  +1 (403) 220-3632


Thank you for contacting us!

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