Kostas Alexis

Assistant Professor
Kostas Alexis

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of Patras, Greece, 2011
  • Diploma of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Patras, Greece, 2007


Kostas Alexis obtained his Ph.D. in the field of aerial robotics control and collaboration from the University of Patras, Greece in 2011. His Ph.D. research was supported by the Greek national-European Commission Excellence scholarship.

After successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis, he was a awarded a Swiss Government fellowship and moved to Switzerland and ETH Zurich. From 2011 to June 2015 he held the position of senior researcher at the Autonomous Systems Lab, ETH Zurich, leading the lab efforts in the fields of control and path planning for advanced navigational and operational autonomy.

His research interests lie in the fields of control, navigation, optimization and path-planning focusing on aerial robotic systems with multiple and hybrid configurations. He is the author or co-author of more than 50 scientific publications and has received several best paper awards and distinctions, including the IET Control Theory & Applications Premium Award 2014. Furthermore, together with his collaborators, they have achieved world records in the field of solar-powered flight endurance. Kostas Alexis has participated in and organized several large-scale multi-million dollar research projects with broad international involvement and collaboration. In July 2015, Kostas moved to the University of Nevada, Reno with the goal to dedicate his efforts towards establishing true autonomy for aerial and other kinds of robotics.

Research interests

  • Unmanned aerial systems
  • Robotics
  • Autonomous systems
  • Hybrid/predictive/optimal/nonlinear/robust control
  • Optimization strategies
  • Path planning
  • Dynamics modeling and system identification
  • Multi-robot collaboration and cooperation
  • Sensor fusion
  • Estimation

International activities

  1. Advisory board of the AEROWORKS project
  2. Organization of workshops at top conferences
  3. Aerial Robotics topic group at EURobotics
  4. Member of Zurich.Minds

International research projects

Languages spoken

  • English
  • Greek

Membership in international organizations

  • IEEE
  • Zurich.Minds

Courses taught

Lecturing on the topic of advanced rotorcraft modeling, 2013 identification and control within the framework of the unmanned aerial systems graduate course at ETH Zurich

Selected and recent publications

  • K. Alexis, G. Nikolakopoulos, A. Tzes "Model Predictive Quadrotor Control: Attitude, Altitude and Position Experimental Studies", IET Control Theory and Applications, DOI (10.1049/iet-cta.2011.0348)
    • [Awarded the IET 2014 Premium Award for Best Paper in Control Theory & Applications]
  • K. Alexis, G. Nikolakopoulos, A. Tzes, "Switching Model Predictive Attitude Control for a Quadrotor Helicopter subject to Atmospheric Disturbances", in the Control Engineering Practice Journal, Elsevier, DOI (10.1016/j.conengprac.2011.06.010)
    • [Almost constantly being ranked in the 25 Hottest Articles in Journal of Control Engineering Practice from December 2012 to May 2015]
  • G. Darivianakis, K. Alexis, M. Burri, R. Siegwart, "Hybrid Predictive Control for Aerial Robotic Physical Interaction towards Inspection Operations", IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2014, Hong Kong, China, May 31-June 7, 2014, p. 53-58
    • [Best Automation Paper Finalist]
  • P. Oettershagen, A. Melzer, T. Mantel, K. Rudin, R. Lotz, D. Siebenmann, S. Leutenegger, K. Alexis, R. Siegwart, "A Solar-Powered Hand-Launchable UAV for Low-Altitude Multi-Day Continuous Flight", IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation, May 26-30, 2015 (ICRA 2015), Seattle, Washington, USA
    • [This UAV achieved the world-record of solar-powered flight endurance at any vehicle below 50kg]
  • A. Bircher, K. Alexis, M. Burri, P. Oettershagen, S. Omari, T. Mantel, R. Siegwart, "Structural Inspection Path Planning via Iterative Viewpoint Resampling with Application to Aerial Robotics", IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation, May 26-30, 2015 (ICRA 2015), Seattle, Washington, USA