Distributed Control of Networked Robots and Systems
April 6, 2009
Speaker: Michael Zavlanos, University of Pennsylvania
Time: Monday, April 6, 2PM
Location: Babbio 221
Host: Philippos Mordohai
The field of robotics is evolving from single monolithic robots to teams of small but interconnected robots achieving global objectives using local coordination. Coordinated missions for teams of mobile robots include coordinated estimation, surveillance, and coverage, coordinated satellite alignment and synchronization, as well as distributed placement and assignment in creating desirable team structures. The fundamental challenge in such problems is the design of local rules, such as distributed controllers and estimators, which by local coordination give rise to the desired global objectives.
In this talk, I will first present the first distributed, scalable, and verifiable algorithm that allows teams of robots to dynamically create any desired structure, characterized by the relative locations of the robots in it, using local coordination rules. This is achieved using a combination of multi-destination potential fields and assignment coordination protocols. I will then address the problem of maintaining connectivity in robotic networks, where the robot nodes are mobile. The proposed solution is not only the first distributed solution to this problem, but has been both theoretically and experimentally verified, and can be composed with other objectives to give robotic structures that can adapt to environmental changes and handle node failures.
Michael M. Zavlanos received the Diploma in mechanical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece, in 2002 and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in 2005 and 2008, respectively. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania. His current research interests include the areas of distributed control systems, networked systems, and hybrid dynamical systems with applications to robotics, sensor networks, and biomolecular networks. Dr. Zavlanos
was a finalist of the Best Student Paper Award at the 45th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in 2006.