Current Projects

Specification-Based Maneuvering of Quadcopters Through Hoops

Motivated by creating systems that can achieve satisfying multiple objectives through user input, this paper approaches the use of quadcopters to manuever through suspended hoops. Often in scenarios like automated farming or surveillance, autonomous robots will need to satisfy a number of objectives over a finite amount of time with constraints on its state space. […]

Collisions as Information Sources in Robot Swarms

Collision avoidance is crucial for making multi-robot systems operate in a safe manner–to keep the robots safe, collisions should be avoided at all costs. In a number of robotic applications, collisions have the potential to be catastrophic, e.g., for fleets of unmanned aerial vehicles or platoons of self-driving trucks. However, as the density of robots […]

Closed-Loop Task Allocation Using Inter-Robot Encounters

Collaborative teams of robots can accomplish multiple tasks at the same time by dividing themselves among the tasks. For example, swarming robots operating in disaster-prone environments might be divided among different tasks such as surveillance, data relay, and rescue. The problem of allocating tasks to individual robots becomes especially challenging when there is no central coordinator […]

Voluntary Retreat for Interference Reduction

Collaboration is a great resource. As proven by biologists, physicists, and a number of social studies, groups of collaborating individuals can address complex tasks even under limited information and skills. Ants cooperate to create a sophisticated network of underground tunnels. Marine bacteria living at great depths build long chains in order to reach lower depths, more abundant […]

Coverage for Teams With Heterogeneous Sensing Capabilities

Coverage control concerns itself with the problem of distributing a collection of mobile sensor nodes across a domain in such a way that relevant environmental features and events are detected by at least one sensor node (with sufficiently high probability). How a team is covering the domain is typically asked relative to an underlying density function, […]

Safe Open-Loop Motion Strategies for Handling Communication Failures in Multi-Robot Systems

This project aims to formulate a motion strategy that allows  robots to safely handle critical communication failures in multi-robot systems where a central decision maker is specifying the movement of each individual robot. For each robot, the proposed algorithm computes a time horizon over which collisions with other robots are guaranteed not to occur. These safe time horizons are included in the commands being […]

Precision Agriculture

Agricultural automation presents challenges typically encountered in the realm of cyber-physical systems, such as incomplete information (plant health indicators), external disturbances (weather), limited control authority (fertilizers cannot make a plant mature arbitrarily fast), and a combination of discrete events and continuous plant dynamics. In this project, we focus on the particular problem of optimal pesticide spray […]

Game-theoretic Self-reconfiguration

This project aims to  formulate the homogeneous two- and three-dimensional self-reconfiguration problem over discrete grids as a constrained potential game. We develop a game-theoretic learning algorithm based on the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm that solves the self-reconfiguration problem in a globally optimal fashion. Both a centralized and a fully decentralized algorithm are presented and we show that […]

Musical Abstractions for Multi-Robot Control

How one single operator should influence the performance of a large group of robots is not a simple question in that it depends on various factors, including the size and composition of the team as well as the objective task to be performed. This work introduces music theory as a new approach for multi-robot control […]

Trust in Human-Robot Teams

Trust- based coordination occurs when a team of robots and possibly humans have to work together to achieve some goal, but each robot (and/or human) may not trust all of the other robots (and/or humans). If a robot doesn’t trust one of its neighbors, it may not want to heavily weight the information obtained from […]

Robotarium

Multi-robotic testbeds are an integral part of multi-agent research, yet they are expensive to develop and operate. This in turn makes them unaffordable for most but a select few researchers at well-endowed universities, slows the rate of progress of multi-agent research, and limits the number of educational multi-robot tools available to students. The goal of […]

Safe Swarm Robotics

When designing coordinated controllers for teams of mobile robots, the primary control objective tends to drive the behavior of the team so as to realize tasks such as achieving and maintaining formations, covering areas, or collective transport. Safety, in terms of collision avoidance is added as a secondary controller to override the controller when collision […]

The GRITSBot

The goal of the GRITSBot project is to make multi-agent experiments more accessible to the research community at large as well as to students of all age groups (highschool, undergraduate education, as well as graduate education). In a further step, we intend to open up a show testbed to the general public. Revision 1 of […]

Robust Multi-Agent Networks

The objective of this research is to develop decentralized methods for achieving robustness in multi-agent networks through self-organization. Multi-agent networks typically consist of numerous components that interact with each other to achieve some collaborative tasks. In many applications, the network may face functional or structural challenges such as failures, noise, or malicious attacks, to name a few. Under such perturbations, a desirable […]

Robotic Mixing Using Braids

Robotic Mixing Using Braids

We approach the problem of having robots mix, or interact with each other consistently in the same space, by borrowing concepts from algebraic topology, namely from the Braid Group.

Control of Multi-Agent Systems Using Time-Varying Density Functions

In this project, optimal coverage ideas are used to control a multi-agent system. In optimal coverage, we are concerned with finding the algorithm that will drive the agents to position themselves in ‘best’ locations, when given a certain density function that represents spatial ‘importance’. For example, this density function may be a probability density function of […]

Heterogeneous Self-Reconfiguration

This project develops a novel approach for heterogeneous self-reconfiguration of a modular robot comprised of heterogeneous cubic modules. We allow an arbitrary number of modules and module classes and show that the proposed self-reconfiguration algorithm can guarantee completion of heterogeneous self-reconfiguration sequences by avoiding so-called hole obstructions. We introduce a hole-detection algorithm to avoid creating […]

Mapping Global Network Computations to Local Rules

In networked systems, a designer often has a higher level goal in mind which he wants to achieve with local rules. Examples of possible goals are rendezvous and formation control. This project aims to find general methods by which arbitrary global behaviors can be mapped on to local network interactions. Initial work has shown that […]