Ph.D. Defense


Ph.D. Defense – Guilllaume Trehard

Guillaume Trehard is pleased to invite you to his Ph.D. defense titled “Evidence theory applications for localization and mapping in an urban context”, on Friday  2016, 05th at 2h30 pm at Mines Paristech (60 bd St Michel, Paris VI, RER B – Luxembourg), amphitheater L 109.

The jury will be composed of :

  • M. Christoph STILLER, Karlsruhe Institut of Technology (KIT), Examiner
  • Mme Véronique CHERFAOUI, Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC), Examiner
  • M. Raja CHATILA, CNRS, Examiner
  • M. Christian LAUGIER, INRIA, Examiner
  • M. Benazouz BRADAI, Valeo Driving Assistance Research, Examiner
  • M. Fawzi NASHASHIBI, INRIA, Examiner
  • Mme Evangéline POLLARD, INRIA, Examiner


Since its emergence in the beginning of the nineties, the evidence theory have gained a growing interest among the data fusion community. Its applications started to spread in the whole robotics field where its advantages complement the traditional Bayesian frameworks. In the area of environment mapping in particular, the quality of the description provided by evidences has already been appreciated and put forward in the literature. By pushing this application up to the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) techniques, this document proposes a new version of the maximum likelihood SLAM in the evidential context before it proposes an original scheme for its integration in a global localization and mapping solution. A practical evaluation of these algorithms is performed in the context of autonomous driving and in urban environments using laser range data integrated on equipped vehicles. In addition, a solution to fuse this local mapping with a global semantic map is proposed as a way to overpass the classical limits of these techniques in restricted budget constraints and with an aim to address the public market. The solutions developed in this thesis are validated thanks to real data of three different experimental platforms from Inria, Valeo and the KITTI database. – See more at:


Ph.D. Defense – Etienne Servais

Etienne Servais is pleased to invite you to his Ph. D. defense entitled “Trajectory planning and control of collaborative systems: Application to trirotor UAVs” on Friday 18 septembre 2015 at 15:00 at Mines Paristech (60 bd St Michel, Paris VI, RER B – Luxembourg), in the amphitheater L 109.

Le Tricoptère avec l'autorisation de D. Kastelan

Picture of the Tricoptere (courtesy of D. Kastelan)

Jury composition:

  • Mme Brigitte d’ANDREA-NOVEL, Professor, Mines ParisTech (Examiner, directeur de thèse) ;
  • M. Jean-Michel CORON, Professor, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Examiner) ;
  • M. Tarek HAMEL, Professor, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis (Examiner) ;
  • M. Miroslav KRSTIC, Professor, Université de Californie à San Diego (Examiner) ;
  • M. Hugues MOUNIER, Professor, Université Paris-Sud (Examiner, directeur de thèse) ;
  • M. Silviu-Iulian NICULESCU, Directeur de recherche, CNRS (Invited) ;
  • M. Arnaud QUADRAT, Engineer, Sagem-DS (Invited) ;
  • M. Joachim RUDOLPH, Professor, Université de la Sarre (Examiner) ;
  • M. Claude SAMSON, Directeur de recherche, INRIA (Examiner).


This thesis is dedicated to the creation of a complete framework, from high-level to low-level, of trajectory generation for a group of independent dynamical systems. This framework, based for the trajectory generation, on the resolution of Burgers equation, is applied to a novel model of trirotor UAV and uses the flatness of the two levels of dynamical systems.

The first part of this thesis is dedicated to the generation of trajectories. Formal solutions to the heat equation are created using the differential flatness of this equation. These solutions are transformed into solutions to Burgers’ equation through Hopf-Cole transformation to match the desired formations. They are optimized to match specific requirements. Several examples of trajectories are given.

The second part is dedicated to the autonomous trajectory tracking by a trirotor UAV. This UAV is totally actuated and a nonlinear closed-loop controller is suggested. This controller is tested on the ground and in flight by tracking, rolling or flying, a trajectory. A model is presented and a control approach is suggested to transport a pendulum load.


Ph.D. Defense – Axel Barrau

Axel Barrau is pleased to invite you to his PhD. defense on Thursday, 15 September 2015 at 15:00 at MINES ParisTech 60 boulevard Saint-Michel 75006 Paris.

Non-linear state error based extended Kalman filters with applications to navigation

Jury composition:

Mme Brigitte d’ANDREA-NOVEL, Professeur, Mines ParisTech (Examinateur),

M. Xavier BISSUEL, Expert en navigation inertielle, Sagem (Examinateur),

M. Silvère BONNABEL, Professeur, Mines Paristech (Examinateur, directeur de thèse),

M. Jay FARRELL, Professeur, UC Riverside (Examinateur),

M. Pascal MORIN, Professeur, UPMC (Rapporteur),

M. Christophe PRIEUR, Directeur de recherche, Gipsa-lab (Rapporteur),

M. Pierre ROUCHON, Professeur, MINES ParisTech (Examinateur).


The present thesis explores the use of non-linear state errors to devise extended Kalman filters (EKFs). First we depart from the theory of invariant observers on Lie groups and propose a more general yet simpler framework allowing to obtain non-linear error variables having the novel unexpected property of being governed by a (partially) linear differential equation. This result is leveraged to ensure local stability of the invariant EKF (IEKF) under standard observability assumptions, when extended to this class of (non-invariant) systems. Real applications to some industrial problems in partnership with the company SAGEM illustrate the remarkable performance gap over the conventional EKF. A second route we investigate is to turn the noise on and consider the invariant errors as stochastic processes. Convergence in law of the error to a fixed probability distribution, independent of the initialization, is obtained if the error with noise turned off is globally convergent, which in turn allows to assess gains in advance that minimize the error’s asymptotic dispersion. The last route consists in stepping back a little and exploring general EKFs (beyond the Lie group case) relying on a non-linear state error. Novel mathematical (global) properties are derived.


Ph.D. Defense – Raphaëlle Ducret


Raphaëlle Ducret is pleased to invite you to his Ph.D. defense on Friday 19th, December 2014 which take place in V107 at MINES ParisTech, 60 boulevard Saint-Michel 75006 Paris.

Structuring last-mile parcel delivery solutions for urban zones: an innovative spatial approach for urban goods distribution

Le jury est composé de :
Mme Laetitia DABLANC, Directrice de recherche, Laboratoire SPLOTT, IFSTTAR, Rapporteur
M. Bernard LEMARIE, Responsable Logistique urbaine, Branche SCC, La Poste, Invité
Mme Cathy MACHARIS, Professeur, BUTO, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Rapporteur
M. Hugues MOLET, Professeur, CAOR, Ecole des Mines de Paris, Directeur
M. Alain ROSET, Responsable Prospective 2020, Branche numérique, La Poste, Examinateur
M. Michel SAVY, Professeur, Lab’Urba, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Co-Directeur
M. Philippe WIESER, Professeur, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Examinateur

Résumé :

With the spread of new technologies and the advent of economic and social changes, the volume of parcels has grown in France. Parcel deliveries in cities have similarly experienced an important increase. Deliveries have become more and more complex because of changing client patterns, urban constraints and cities’ concerns for sustainability. The growing complexity of the ‘last mile’ delivery poses economic, organizational, environmental and political challenges to parcel providers. Putting the spatial organization of cities back at the heart of the creation of new logistics organizations and integrating spatial studies to urban logistics techniques and tools, in particular in modelling, can be means of innovation. Until now spatial studies have been largely under-used in UF. This study will provide an in-depth analysis of the relationships between urban spatial organization, urban form and UF. Based on those results, the thesis provides the first elements of a spatial urban freight modelling approach. The modelling approach will enable the creation of a decision support tool able to identify homogeneous urban zones based on urban form, economic and political characteristics in order to offer the most suitable delivery solution to each zone of a city.


Ph.D. Defense – Vincent Weistroffer

Réalité Virtuelle et Réalité Augmentée

Sylvain Thorel is pleased to invite you to his PhD. defense on Thursday, 11 December 2014 at MINES ParisTech 60 boulevard Saint-Michel 75006 Paris.

Jury composition

M. Raja CHATILA, ISIR, UPMC, Examiner

M. Jean-Louis VERCHER, ISM, Univ. Aix-Marseille, Examiner

M. Pascal GUITTON, INRIA-LaBRI, Univ. Bordeaux, Examiner

M. François MARSY, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Examiner

M. Claude ANDRIOT, CEA-LIST, Examiner

M. Philippe FUCHS, CAOR, MINES ParisTech, Director

M. Alexis PALJIC, CAOR, MINES ParisTech, Director


Either in the context of the industry or of the everyday life, robots are becoming more and more present in our environment and are nowadays able to interact with humans. In industrial environments, robots now assist operators on the assembly lines for difficult and dangerous tasks. Then, robots and operators need to share the same physical space (copresence) and to manage common tasks (collaboration). On the one side, the safety of humans working near robots has to be guaranteed at all time. On the other hand, it is necessary to determine if such a collaborative work is accepted by the operators, in terms of usability and utility.

The first problematic of the thesis consists in determining the important criteria that play a role in the acceptability, from the operators’ point of view. Different factors can influence this acceptability: robot appearance, robot movements, safety distance or interaction modes with the robot.

In order to study as many factors as possible, we intend to use virtual reality to perform user studies in virtual environments. We are using questionnaires to gather subjective impressions from operators and physiological measures to estimate their affective states (stress, effort). The second problematic of the thesis consists in determining if a methodology using virtual reality is relevant for this evaluation: can the results from studies in virtual environments be reproducible in equivalent physical situations?

In order to answer the problematics of the thesis, three use cases have been implemented and four studies have been performed. Two of those studies rely on a physical situation and its virtual reality counterpart in order to evaluate the relevance of the results of the virtual situation compared to the real situation.

Keywords: human-robot collaboration, virtual reality, acceptability, human factors, human-robot interac- tion, immersion, interaction


Ph.D. Defense – Sylvain Thorel

Sylvain Thorel is pleased to invite you to his PhD. defense on november, Thursday 14, 10h30 am.
Ph.D title:

Design and construction of an autonomous hybrid ground/air drone for indoor applications

Date: thursday 14, november 2014, 10h30 am
Place:   Mines ParisTech 60 boulevard Saint-Michel 75006 Paris salle L106

Jury composition 

Mme Isabelle FANTONI, Directeur de recherche CNRS, Heudiasyc UTC, Examiner
M. Pascal MORIN, Professor, ISIR, UPMC, Rapporteur
M. Jean-Michel CORON, Professor, Laboratoire Jacques-Louis, UPMC, Examiner
M. Tarek HAMEL, Professor, i3s, sophia antipolis, Examiner
M. Phillipe MARTINET, Professor, IRCCYN, école Centrale de Nantes, Examiner
M. Bruno STEUX, Directeur R&D, Nexter Robotics, Examiner
Mme Brigitte D’ANDREA-NOVEL, Professor, CAOR, MINES ParisTech, Directeur de thèse


This thesis is dedicated to the non-linear control of a special hybrid quadrotor which is able to fly, and slide on the ground like an hovercraft. In the context of an autonomous indoor exploration this hybrid concept allows saving energy when flying is not necessary, since the drone can then slide on the ground without having to compensate for the gravity; autonomy can last beyond the 20 minutes typical of a standard quadrotor. Contrarily to wheeled mobile robots, the hybrid drone ability to move across space is strongly increased since it can fly to avoid obstacles, to move between two levels, to get in through a window. The study under consideration is essentially focused on the displacement of the drone on the ground and aims at designing and implementing a control law so that our system is able to track a 2D xy plane trajectory. This terrestrial quadrotor is similar to a slider underactuated vehicle. The point stabilisation is then separately studied from the trajectory tracking issue because of the Brockett condition, which is not satisfied in that case; our platform cannot be stabilized by means of continuous state feedbacks. This thesis proposes different theoretical developments based on the literature and deriving from time varying control laws, transverse functions, flatness or backstepping techniques to solve both point stabilisation and trajectory tracking. The experimental part of the thesis is based on the recovering of the drone position in real time and orientation via a Motion Capture system for feedback loop in the control law; the proposed dynamical model was validated as well as the control and command laws for the tracking of a circular trajectory.

Keywords: Quadrotors, hovercraft, underactuated system, non linear control, trajectory tracking, point stabilisation, autonomous indoor exploration.


Ph.D. Defense – Emilie Wirbel

Émilie Wirbel is pleased to invite you to his Ph.D. defense which take place on October, Tuesday 7th.
Title :

Localization and navigation of a humanoid robot in a domestic environment

Place:   Mines ParisTech 60 boulevard Saint-Michel 75006 Paris salle L109

Jury Composition 

M. David FILLIAT U2IS – ENSTA ParisTech Examiner
M. Olivier STASSE LAAS – CNRS Examiner
Arnaud DE LA FORTELLE MINES ParisTech – CAOR Director
M. Fabien MOUTARDE MINES ParisTech – CAOR Co-Director
M. Rodolphe GELIN Aldebaran Co-Director
M. Patrick RIVES INRIA Sophia Antipolis Examiner
M. Roland CHAPUIS Institut Pascal Examiner


This thesis covers the topic of low cost humanoid robots localization and navigation in a dynamic unconstrained environment. It is the result of a collaboration between the Centre for Robotics of Mines ParisTech and Aldebaran, whose robots, NAO and Pepper, are used as experimental platforms. We will describe how to derive information on the orientation and the position of the robot, under high constraints on computing power, sensor field of view and environment genericity. The environment is represented using a topological formalism : places are stored in vertices, and connected by transitions. The environment is learned in a preliminary phase, which allows the robot to construct a reference. The main contribution of this PHD thesis lies in orientation and approximate position measurement methods, based on monocular cameras with a restricted field of view, and their integration into a topological structure. To localize the robot in the robot, we use mainly data providing by the monocular cameras of the robot, while also allowing extensions, for example with a 3D camera. The different localization methods are combined into a hierarchical structure, which makes the whole process more robust and merges the estimations. A trajectory control has also been developped in order to transition accurately from one vertex to another, and incidently to provide a feedback on the walk of the robot. The results of this thesis have been integrated into Aldebaran software suite, and thoroughly tested in various conditions, in order to validate the conclusions and prepare a client delivery.

Ph.D. Defense – Jean Gregoire

 The lab is pleased to announce the Ph.D. defense of Jean Gregoire which take place on september, monday 29 at 3H30 PM, in room L109.

Title : Priority-based coordination of mobile robots

Date: lundi 29 septembre 2014 à 15h30
Place: 60 boulevard saint-michel, 75006, Paris – L109
Advisor: Arnaud DE LA FORTELLE


  • Silvère BONNABEL Assistant Professor MINES ParisTech co-director
  • Domitilla DEL VECCHIO Associate Professor MIT Examiner
  • Arnaud DE LA FORTELLE Professor MINES ParisTech Director
  • Thierry FRAICHARD Assistant Professor, HDR INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes Examiner
  • Emilio FRAZZOLI Professor MIT Examiner
  • Denis GILLET Assistant Professor EPFL Examiner
  • Jean-Paul LAUMOND Director of Research LAAS-CNRS Examiner


Keywords : mobile robots, motion planning, coordination, multi robot systems, robustness, three-layer architecture


Since the end of the 1980’s, the development of self-driven autonomous vehicles is an intensive research area in most major industrial countries. Positive socio-economic potential impacts include a decrease of crashes, a reduction of travel times, energy efficiency improvements, and a reduced need of costly physical infrastructure. Some form of vehicle-to-vehicle and/or vehicle-to-infrastructure cooperation is required to ensure a safe and efficient global transportation system. This thesis deals with a particular form of cooperation by studying the problem of coordinating multiple mobile robots at an intersection area. Most of coordination systems proposed in previous work consist of planning a trajectory and to control the robots along the planned trajectory: that is the plan-as-program paradigm where planning is considered as a generative mechanism of action. The approach of the thesis is to plan priorities – the relative order of robots to go through the intersection – which is much weaker as many trajectories respect the same priorities. Then, priorities are merely used as a coordination resource to guide robots through the intersection. Once priorities are assigned, robots are controlled through a control law preserving the assigned priorities. It results in a more robust coordination system – able to handle a large class of unexpected events in a reactive manner – particularly well adapted for an application to the coordination of autonomous vehicles at intersections where cars, public transport and pedestrians share the road.


Ph.D. Defense – Martyna Poreba

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Ph.D. Defense – Jean-François Jégo

This entry is only available in french…