Access to IRL Facilities

NOTE:  The Center for Autonomy will be maintaining its policy of wearing masks in the Flying Arena, Robotics Pavilion and Highbay laboratories until further notice for the safe usage of IRL facilities due to Covid-19.  For other campus policies please see

New projects

New projects in the Flying Arena can be requested by faculty and graduate students. For graduate students, fill out the form below and indicate in the comments section that this is a new requested project. You will be given an IRL Project# to submit requests for time on the schedule.

New projects in the Robotics Pavilion or Highbay will need a faculty sponsor, who will need to read the guidelines and perform a space request at the linked form on the Robotics Wiki. Faculty sponsors not already affiliated with the robotics group can ask the director to become an affiliate.

Once a project is approved, faculty sponsors will need to perform a risk assessment and submit a risk mitigation plan before moving in equipment and personnel. Faculty sponsors will receive an IRL Project#, and this number should be provided for students to submit requests for time on the schedule.

Obtaining access for new personnel

At this time only graduate students can obtain card key access to IRL facilities.  However, undergraduates can work in the lab and participate with experimentation, when accompanied by a graduate student from your project, after completing Lab Safety Training.

Please follow these instructions carefully to gain access Intelligent Robotics Lab Facilities (IRL Flying Arena, Robotics Pavilion or Highbay satellite facility):

1. Review the UIUC Division of Research Safety (DRS) Policy tutorials (Lab Risk Assessment tutorial is not required).  Save the confirmation page as a PDF or screenshot after you have completed the tutorials.

2. Review the current Covid-19 Campus Safety Information.

3. Review the General Usage Guidelines and specific procedures for the project and/or area you are gaining access to:

After reviewing, DRS requires you send an email to the Lab Manager & Coordinator of the Robotics Shared Labs stating, you have read, understand and will comply with the lab rules and guidelines.

4. Fill out the access form with all pertinent information for your access application.  To do so:

  • Log in using your University NetID.
  • Come back to this page
  • Fill out the form below.


5. Schedule a Lab Access and Safety Training meeting with the Lab Manager & Coordinator of the Robotics Shared Labs. During this meeting, you may also discuss your intended work and to see how space and additional assistance can be provided during your experimentation.

6. The Lab Manager & Coordinator will then request to activate your i-card for access to the IRL facilities.

7. For Robotics Pavilion and Highbay projects: Make sure you review your project specific training procedures and ensure that your faculty sponsor has logged the date of your training.

8. For Flying in the Arena:  If you will be flying a quadcopter, etc., contact the lab manager for a time for a Flight Test.  IRL has a flight simulator and also a small quadcopter for students to practice with prior to testing.  The first parts of the Flight Test can be conducted with any UAV and the simulator can be used for more complicated maneuvers.  However, the last part of the Flight Test requires showing the actual maneuvers you will be making with the research platform you will be using during your research.

9. Visit Reserve Lab page to reserve your lab time with the IRL Project# you are assigned.


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