About Me

I joined the Robotics and Perception Group in 2015 and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Davide Scaramuzza. My background is in Robotics and Control Systems, as I got a B.Sc. and a M.Sc in Automation Engineering from University of Naples “Federico II”, with focus on dynamical systems, robotics and control.

I am fascinated by autonomous systems, which I believe have the potential of dramatically change and improve our society. My research interests lie at the intersection between perception and action. More specifically, I am interested in leveraging motion planning and control techniques to cope with the limitations and simultaneously exploit the benefits of onboard sensors for high-speed flight with small-scale, lightweight, vision-based autonomous quadrotors.

Drop me an email at falanga@ifi.uzh.ch if you want to get in touch, or check out my profiles on: LinkedIn, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate.

Research Interests

Robotics is often defined as the “intelligent connection of perception to action” (M. Bradley, “Artificial Intelligence and Robotics”, MIT, 1984 [Link]).

Agile Quadrotors Flight Using Active Vision

Quadrotors are very agile, yet simple aerial vehicles, and recent work showed they can execute extremely complex maneuvers. Most of this work relies on motion-capture systems for state estimation, preventing those machines from exploiting their potentials in the real world. Conversely, I am interested in executing agile flight with quadrotors using solely onboard sensing (namely, a single camera and an IMU) and computing. This leads to a number of interesting challenges and open questions, since perception and control cannot be treated as two separated problems. On the contrary, it is necessary to create synergy between perception and action by coupling them (active vision). Examples of such aggressive maneuvers are passing through narrow inclined gaps and flying at high speed in cluttered unknown environments.


Peer-reviewed Journal Papers

M. Faessler, D. Falanga, D. Scaramuzza. Thrust Mixing, Saturation, and Body-Rate Control for Accurate Aggressive Quadrotor Flight. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2017. PDF – Video

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers

D. Falanga, E. Mueggler, M. Faessler, D. Scaramuzza. Aggressive Quadrotor Flight through Narrow Gaps with Onboard Sensing and Computing using Active Vision. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Singapore, 2017. PDF – Video

P. Foehn, D. Falanga, N. Kuppuswamy, R. Tedrake, D. Scaramuzza. Fast Trajectory Optimization for Agile Quadrotor Maneuvers with a Cable-Suspended Payload. Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), Boston, 2017. Best Student Paper Award FinalistPDF – Video

D. Falanga, A. Zanchettin, A. Simovic, J. Delmerico, D. Scaramuzza. Vision-based Autonomous Quadrotor Landing on a Moving Platform. IEEE/RSJ International Symposium on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics (SSRR), Shanghai, 2017. PDF – Video

R. Spica, D. Falanga, E. Cristofalo, E. Montijano, D. Scaramuzza, M. Schwager. A Game Theoretic Approach to Autonomous Two-Player Drone Racing. Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), Pittsburgh, 2018. PDF Video


D. Falanga, P. Foehn, P. Lu, D. Scaramuzza. PAMPC: Perception-Aware Model Predictive Control. Arxiv, 2018. PDF Video





The Robotics and Perception Group is located in Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich (CH).

To contact me, drop me an email (falanga (at) ifi (dot) uzh (dot) ch) or a call (+41 44 635 45 89).