IEEE Transactions on Robotics - Special Issue on Aerial Swarm Robotics

Aerial robotics has been one of the most active areas of research within the robotics community, and recently there has been a surge of interest in aerial swarm systems. This IEEE Transactions on Robotics special issue reflects on advances in aerial robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles, and aims to put together a cohesive set of research goals and visions towards realizing fully autonomous aerial swarm systems. In the near future, our airspace will be shared by a large number of aerial robots and autonomous aircraft, performing complex tasks that would be not possible for a single ground robot. A number of technological gaps need to be bridged in order to achieve full autonomy and reliable and safe operation of swarms of aerial robots. The papers selected for this special issue will represent the most promising ideas to address such research issues in modeling, design, control, sensing, planning, and computation of aerial swarms, with an emphasis on enhanced scalability, adaptability, robustness, and autonomy.

Contributions must have a direct connection to the central themes of the special issue: swarms of aerial robots flying in a three-dimensional (3-D) world. Each contribution should emphasize how to address challenges in transitioning from 2-D to 3-D in areas such as SWaP (size, weight, and power), swarm coordination or collaboration, and use of 3-D vehicle dynamics.


* Aerial swarming: modeling, design, and control
* Motion planning, guidance, and control of distributed aerial systems
* Algorithmic innovation enabling control of large-scale swarms of aerial robots
* Novel system-level or hardware design concepts for aerial swarms
* Distributed sensing or estimation techniques leveraging aerial swarm platforms
* Real-world results and lessons learned from testing state-of-the-art techniques
* Real-time optimal control, planning, and decision making for aerial swarms
* Scalability, stability, and robustness issues in distributed aerial systems
* Planning and control using vision-based sensing
* Traffic control of swarms of drones in indoor or outdoor environments
* Human-swarm interaction
* Long-term autonomy of aerial swarms
* Research issues in large-scale deployment of aerial swarms
* Enabling applications using aerial swarms
* Verification and validation of multi-agent systems and algorithms
* Decentralized planning and its applications to aerial swarms

Interested authors are encouraged to contact the special issue editors with an abstract of their paper to confirm that their submission is within the scope of the special issue.

Abstracts should be sent via email to,,,, and


Call for Papers: 24 February 2017
Deadline for Initial Paper Submission: 31 May 2017
Notification of First Round Decision: 1 September 2017
Deadline for Revised Paper Submission: 1 October 2017
Target Publication Date: February 2018


Prof. Soon-Jo Chung, Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
Prof. Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Aditya Paranjape, Imperial College London, London, UK
Prof. Philip Dames, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Prof. Shaojie Shen, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

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