IEEE Kingston Section


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Technical Talk: Fast Multirotor Flight Using Vision-Based Navigation in Real-World Environments 

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

The EMB/RA/CS Societies Joint Chapter of IEEE Kingston Section and Ingenuity Labs Research Institute are proud to present the following hybrid technical talk: 


Flying Flat Out: Fast Multirotor Flight Using Vision-Based Navigation in Real-World Environments 


Dr. Melissa Greeff

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Queen’s University

Kingston, ON


1:30 – 2:30pm, Tuesday October 18, 2022

In-Person: Ingenuity Labs, Mitchell Hall (Room 395), Queen’s University


Meeting ID:  977 6073 7047, Passcode: Ingenuity


Multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are mechanically simple and highly maneuverable robots that are suitable to a wide range of applications such as infrastructure inspection, transportation, search-and-rescue missions, and mapping operations. To support these applications, my research vision is to expand reliable autonomous multirotor navigation beyond lab demonstrations to real-world environments. To enable this, in the first part of this talk, we present computationally efficient control algorithms, by exploiting a property of the dynamics knowns as differential flatness.  We exploit this property to enable efficient prediction and safe learning using online data.  We develop safe high-performance control by accounting for nonlinear and unknown dynamics in a computationally tractable way. In the second part of this talk, we explore some of the challenges to high-speed autonomous vision-based flight. Real-world environments may be GPS-denied and vision-based navigation, relying predominantly on an onboard camera, is a lightweight and cost-effective alternative. Most standard controllers are perception-agnostic and tend to assume (i) the action computed by the controller has no effect on the ability of vision-based navigation to determine location and (ii) perfect state estimation is obtained. These assumptions often limit the reliability and performance of perception-agnostic controllers for autonomous vision-based flight. In the second part of this talk, we present perception-aware control algorithms that account for partial knowledge of the environment and plan despite imperfect state estimation. These approaches are validated through outdoor experiments on a DJI M600 multirotor where we demonstrate autonomous vision-based flight at speeds up to 10 m/s. Finally, I will discuss some of the open gaps to robust high-performance autonomous multirotor navigation.


Melissa Greeff joined Queens as an Assistant Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is a faculty affiliate with the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. She obtained her BASc in Engineering Science and her PhD from the University of Toronto where she was a course instructor for Linear Algebra. Her research interests include aerial robots, vision-based navigation, and safe learning-based control. She has published in various international robotics and control systems venues including IEEE Robotics and Auto. Letters, Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems, ICRA, IROS and CDC. She has helped co-organize various workshops on safe robot learning and benchmarking at various international conferences.


Dr. Joshua Marshall       

Dr. Keyvan Hashtrudi-Zaad


Monday, May 2nd, 2016


IEEE Kingston Section cordially invites

IEEE Members, Students, Staff and Well Wishers to its

 2016 IEEE Annual Banquet.


with Guest Speaker


Dr. Arthur B. McDonald

2015 Nobel Laureate in Physics and

Professor Emeritus, Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy




May 25th  2016, 

from 6:00pm at the

Donald Gordon Centre, 421 Union St. Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

Dinner Menu:

Starter – Chef’s soup of the day, Spinach, Mandarin and red onion salad

Main Course options –

  1. Chicken Kiev (Halal available)
  2. Atlantic Salmon (gluten-free)
  3. Stuffed Pasta Primavera (vegetarian)

Desert – Molten Lava Cake (Fruit Salad available upon request)

Abstract of talk by Prof. McDonald:

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory: A success story for science and engineering

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory project involved the design, engineering and construction of a particle detector the size of a ten storey building 2 km underground under ultra-clean conditions with $300 million of heavy water as the central detection medium. With this detector it was possible observe one neutrino per hour with essentially no radioactive background in the region of interest and use this data to show conclusively that electron neutrinos produced in the core of the sun change to other neutrino flavours before reaching the earth. This requires that neutrinos have a non-zero mass, which is new physics beyond the Standard Model of Elementary Particles. The science and engineering challenges of the Nobel Prize winning project will be discussed.

Ticket Prices: (Deadline for purchase is 19 May, 2016)

Members (and max. one companion) $40.00
Student members (and max. one companion) $20.00
Non-members $50.00




Purchase tickets:

PDF version of the 2016 Banquet Announcement

Advanced Ultrasound Imaging and Interventional Photoacoustic Surgical Systems

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The EMBS Chapter of IEEE Kingston Section and Queen’s School of Computing are proud to present the following distinguished lecture:


Advanced Ultrasound Imaging and Interventional Photoacoustic Surgical Systems

Date:   Thursday July 24th, 2014.

Time:  2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Location: Walter Light Hall 210

Speaker:  Dr. Emad M. Boctor, John Hopkins University

Abstract:  In recent years, the use of imaging to make immediate clinical and interventional decisions has grown in both sophistication and adoption. Ultrasound is an ideal imaging technology for such purposes, from the perspectives of cost, mobility, and patient radiation exposure. However, ultrasound scan acquisition remains primarily manual, subject to the skill of a particular physician or ultrasound technician, and time consuming. Additional challenges exist in the use of ultrasound to guide surgical or interventional procedures, including system integration, setup complexity and calibration, precise tracking, and real-time monitoring of a procedure’s outcome. To address these challenges we have developed a collection of novel tracking and ultrasound imaging technologies and integrated these in prototype systems. 

In this talk, we will introduce multiple system embodiments that involve robotics, tracking, ultrasound image processing, elasticity monitoring, and photoacoustic imaging. The underlying themes in these systems are (1) simultaneous tracking of interventional tools and the surgical scene with respect to the US images and (2) monitoring physiological changes, specifically tissue coagulation, throughout the procedure. For the first theme, the talk will include a description of a novel photoacoustic-based surgical tracking system applied to laparoscopic procedures. Also, we will describe a new vision-based ultrasound tracking system applied to biopsy and percutaneous procedures. With respect to the second theme, we will present a precisely-shaped acoustic ablation system under elasticity and 3DUS image guidance. In addition, a new photoacoustic-based brachytherapy imaging system will be introduced.


Speaker Bio: Emad Boctor completed the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, in 1995 and 1998. He also earned an MSCS degree in Engineering Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Louisville, Kentucky in 2000. He then received Master’s and Doctoral degrees in 2004 and 2006 from the Computer Science Department of Johns Hopkins University. In 2007, he joined The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, where he initiated a research program in the field of advanced interventional ultrasound imaging. Dr. Boctor’s research focuses on image-guided therapy and surgery, a subject in which he has authored and co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts, has filed more than 15 pending and issued patents, and has been recognized with numerous awards and fellowships. Dr. Boctor is an Engineering Research Center investigator, and holds a primary appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology and a secondary appointment in both the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering departments at Johns Hopkins.  He is an active member of IEEE, SPIE, and the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions (MICCAI) societies and has been a scientific reviewer for many prestigious journals and conferences.

Host:  Prof. Parvin Mousavi (pmousavi [at]


Everyone is welcome!