Enric Galceran
Senior Researcher at the Autonomous Systems Lab, ETH Zurich
Previously postdoctoral Researcher at the PeRL and APRIL laboratories, University of Michigan

   Leonhardstrasse 21
       LEE J304
       8092 Zurich, Switzerland

   Phone: +41 44 632 33 02

University of Michigan
PErceptual Robotics Laboratory
APRIL Robotics Laboratory

I have recently started as a senior researcher at the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich. Previously I was a postdoctoral researcher at the PErceptual Robotics Laboratory (PeRL) and the Autonomy, Perception, Robotics, Interfaces, and Learning (APRIL) laboratory at the University of Michigan. My research interests are centered on decision-making under uncertainty and integrated perception, planning, and control for autonomous vehicles. At Michigan I worked on the Next Generation Vehicle (NGV) project with professors Ryan Eustice and Edwin Olson.


Google Scholar profile

Research Statement

Teaching Statement


Decision Making and Motion Planning At ETH Zurich's Autonomous Systems Lab I do research on perception and decision-making and motion planning for a variety of autonomous vehicles, with a focus on micro aerial vehicles (MAVs)—check out our YouTube channel. I am currently serving as vice-coordinator for the H2020 EU project FLOURISH, centered on ground and aerial robots collaboration for precision agriculture.

Autonomous Driving My research is currently mainly focused on the Next Generation Vehicle project, where I work on decision-making under uncertainty and integrated perception, planning, and control in the context of autonomous driving in real-world traffic scenarios. The project is a collaboration of the PeRL and APRIL laboratories at the University of Michigan, Ford Motor Company, and State Farm. We use a fleet of several autonomous vehicles equipped with INS, LIDAR and cameras, as shown in the video below. Visit the project's page to learn more.

Underwater Robotics During my time at the University of Girona, my work focused on underwater robotics. Currently I help out at PeRL with the PhD work of Ryan Eustice's students Jeff Walls and Stephen Chaves. Jeff's work involves path planning under uncertainty for cooperative localization of AUVs and Stephen's is focused on planning active SLAM for underwater visual inspection tasks.

My PhD work was centered on the problem of covering a surface of interest with a robot while avoiding obstacles, particularly in underwater scenarios. My thesis addressed 2D coverage, uncertainty-driven AUV survey planning, and autonomous inspection of 3D underwater environments using the GIRONA 500 AUV, equipped with optical imaging and sonar sensors. The automated inspection scheme proposed in the thesis goes beyond conventional AUV surveys which image the ocean floor from an overhead viewpoint. In contrast, we propose a 3D coverage path planning algorithm that enables the AUV to image the target structure from fair view points at different depths. This enables the AUV sensors to capture the full 3D information of the target structure. Beyond mere off-line planning, our algorithm adapts the inspection path in real time using sonar range information, dealing with the uncertainty present both in the low-resolution maps used to plan the path and in the AUV's localization system.

The video below demonstrates the method at sea in two different inspection tasks using the GIRONA 500 AUV. First, GIRONA 500 follows an automatically pre-planned path to inspect a concrete block on a breakwater structure at 5 m depth. Next, the AUV inspects a natural seamount ranging from 28 m down to 40 m depth. In both tasks the vehicle acquires bathymetry sonar and stereo camera data used to create 3D models and photomosaics of the inspected structures.

Visitor at Carnegie Mellon During 2012, I was for 6 months a visiting researcher at The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, in the US. As part of my PhD, I worked at the Biorobotics Lab hosted by Prof. Howie Choset.

Visitor at NURC (now CMRE) During 2011, I was for 3 months a visiting researcher at NATO's Undersea Research Centre (NURC), now called Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) in La Spezia, Italy. There, I worked in target and obstacle detection using forward-looking imaging sonar under the supervision of Dr. Vladimir Djapic. Take a look at the slides of my NGCUV 2012 presentation for a summary of the work I carried on there.


Journal Articles

Stephen M. Chaves, Enric Galceran, Ayoung Kim, and Ryan M. Eustice.
Opportunistic Sampling-based Active SLAM for Underwater Visual Inspection.
Under review.

Enric Galceran, Ricard Campos, Narcís Palomeras, David Ribas, Pere Ridao, and Marc Carreras.
Coverage Path Planning with Realtime Replanning and Surface Reconstruction for Inspection of 3D Underwater Structures using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.
Journal of Field Robotics. 2014 (in press).

Enric Galceran, Narcís Palomeras, and M. Carreras.
Profile Following for Inspection of Underwater Structures
Paladyn Journal of Behavioral Robotics. Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2013, Pages 209–220.

Enric Galceran and M. Carreras.
A Survey on Coverage Path Planning for Robotics
Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Volume 61, Issue 12, December 2013, Pages 1258–1276.

Conference and Workshop Papers

Enric Galceran, Alexander G. Cunningham, Ryan M. Eustice, and Edwin Olson.
Multipolicy Decision-Making for Autonomous Driving via Changepoint-based Behavior Prediction.
Robotics: Science & Systems. Rome, Italy. July 2015 (to appear).

Enric Galceran, Ryan M. Eustice, and Edwin Olson.
Toward Integrated Motion Planning and Control using Potential Fields and Torque-based Steering Actuation for Autonomous Driving.
IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV). Seoul, South Korea. June 2015 (to appear).

Enric Galceran, Alexander G. Cunningham, Ryan M. Eustice, and Edwin Olson.
Understanding the Past to Predict the Future: Multipolicy Decision-Making using Changepoints for Autonomous Driving.
ICRA 2015 Workshop on Beyond Geometric Constraints: Planning for Solving Complex Tasks, Reducing Uncertainty, and Generating Informative Paths & Policies. Seattle, WA. May 2015.

Alexander G. Cunningham, Enric Galceran, Ryan M. Eustice, and Edwin Olson.
MPDM: Multipolicy Decision-Making in Dynamic, Uncertain Environments for Autonomous Driving.
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Seattle, WA. May 2015.

Enric Galceran, Ricard Campos, Marc Carreras, and Pere Ridao.
3D Coverage Path Planning with Realtime Replanning for Inspection of Underwater Structures.
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Hong Kong, China. May 2014.

Enric Galceran, Sharad Nagappa, Marc Carreras, Pere Ridao, and Albert Palomer
Uncertainty-driven Survey Path Planning for Bathymetric Mapping
Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). Tokyo, Japan. November 2013.

Enric Galceran, Ricard Campos, and Marc Carreras
Automating Seafloor Inspection using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Fifth International Workshop in Marine Technology (MARTECH). Girona, Spain. October 2013.

Enric Galceran, Marc Carreras, Narcís Palomeras, and Pere Ridao
Complex Structure Profile Estimation and Following with the GIRONA500 AUV
OCEANS'13. Bergen, Norway. June 2013.

Enric Galceran and Marc Carreras
Planning Coverage Paths on Bathymetric Maps for In-Detail Inspection of the Ocean Floor
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Karlsruhe, Germany. May 2013.

Ross Hatton, Ross A Knepper, Howie Choset, David Rollinson, Chaohui Gong, and Enric Galceran
Snakes on a Plan: Toward Combining Planning and Control
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Karlsruhe, Germany. May 2013.

Enric Galceran and Marc Carreras
Coverage Path Planning for Marine Habitat Mapping
OCEANS'12. Hampton Roads (VA), USA. October 2012

Enric Galceran and Marc Carreras
Efficient Seabed Coverage Path Planning for ASVs and AUVs
Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). Vilamoura, Portugal. October 2012.

Enric Galceran, Vladimir Djapic, Marc Carreras, and David P. Williams
A Real-time Underwater Object Detection Algorithm for Multi-beam Forward Looking Sonar
IFAC's workshop on Navigation, Guidance, and Control of Underwater Vehicles (NGCUV). Porto, Portugal. April 2012.

Emili Hernández, Marc Carreras, Enric Galceran, and Pere Ridao
Path Planning with Homotopy Class Constraints on Bathymetric Maps
OCEANS'11. Santander, Spain. June 2011

Andrés El-Fakdi, Marc Carreras, and Enric Galceran
Two steps Natural Actor Critic Learning for Underwater Cable Tracking
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Anchorage, Alaska. May 2010.

Other Publications

Enric Galceran
Coverage Path Planning for In-Detail Seafloor Inspection. A recap of my research as of late 2012. (Slides)
V Jornadas Automar. Girona, Spain. December 2012.

Enric Galceran, Carlos Becker, Chee Sing Lee, Simone Zandara, Arnau Carrera, Pere Pares, Carles Candela, and Marc Carreras
Sparus AUV Takes the SAUC-E'11 Challenge
Student Autonomous Underwater Challenge - Europe. La Spezia, Italy. July 2011.


• PhD in Robotics, University of Girona, 2014. Thesis: Coverage Path Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles [PhD Thesis]
• MSc in Computer Vision and Robotics from University of Girona, 2011.
• MSc in Computer Engineering from University of Girona, 2010. Best Graduation Project Award.
• BSc in Computer Engineering from University of Girona, 2008. Best GPA Special Award. Best Graduation Project Award.

Media Appearences


Enric Galceran
Premien un estudiant de la UdG pel disseny d'un sistema per controlar robots autònoms [Catalan]
UdG Student Awarded for the Design of a Control System for Autonomous Robots (English translation by Google Translate)
Diari de Girona. Girona, Spain. August 16th 2011.

Girona SAUC-E team  
El campió dels robots [Catalan]
The Robot Champion (English translation by Google Translate)
Diari de Girona. Girona, Spain. July 6th 2010.

Other Interests

I participated as core developer (2010) and team leader (2011) with the VICOROB-UdG team in the 2010 and 2011 editions of the Student Autonomous Underwater Challenge - Europe (SAUC-E). Our 2010 team built our torpedo-shaped robot Sparus from the ground up for the competition, and took again the challenge in 2011. We were the champions in 2010 and runner-ups in 2011.

Take a look at our SAUC-E 2010 preparation video diary:

You can also watch a video of our performance in 2010 and our 2011 video diary.