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 […]

Student performing user experiment with the haptic device and computer simulation

Haptic Interactions with Multi-Robot Swarms Using Manipulability

  In the case of leader-follower networks, one or more agents (the leaders) can be used to inject control inputs into the system. In these networks, one can analyze the “effectiveness” of the inputs by borrowing a notion from robotics known as manipulability. In robotics, manipulability indices were developed as a means to analyze the […]

Required Navigation Performance Tube

NextGen Air Transportation Systems

Several Next Generation Air Transportation Systems concepts require aircraft to be able to safely fly routes on the same airspace in a timely fashion. Therefore it is necessary that aircraft are able to navigate on routes with spatial and temporal constraints. Here at the GRITS Lab, we propose an optimal control approach at solving the problem.

GRITS_formation 00_00_00-00_00_10

Proportional-Integral Distributed Optimization

Many tasks to be solved by multi-agent systems can be formed in terms of a cost, where task completion corresponds to minimizing the cost.  For example, the figure below depicts multi-agent formation control where agents must collectively decide upon parameters of the formation (such as displacement, rotation, and spread) while moving into position.  By having […]


Learning to Locomote

As robots evolve they are becoming increasingly “smarter”, but still can not and do not learn the way humans learn. For example, humans have evolved to move by walking or running; however, humans can learn how to move by other means (e.g. swimming, skateboarding, riding bikes, etc.). I don’t know of any current robot that […]


Spatio-Temporal Routing

  The idea behind this project is to route multiple robots to service spatially distributed requests at specified time instants, while optimizing some criterion, for instance the total distance travelled, or the total time of travel. The routing problem is similar to the well known Multiple Traveling Salesman Problem (m-TSP) or the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), except […]


Self-reconfiguring Robots

The goal of this project is to develop distributed control strategies to automatically reconfigure an ensemble of individual robotic modules from an initial configuration into a desired target configuration. A configuration in our work is a three-dimensional geometric arrangement of cubic modules where a cubic module is the basic building block of our system. Modular […]

Autonomous Marionettes

Autonomous Marionettes

The project is divided into three main research tasks: Puppet Choreography with Motion Programs, Imitating Human Motions, and Distributed Protocols for Coordinating Puppets.

Assignment Problem

Assignment and Formation Control

The primary goal for this research is to develop a method of dynamic role assignment and formation control for multi-robot systems for rotationally and translationally invariant formations. Most previous work has treated assignment and formation synthesis as two separate problems.

Adaptive Time Horizon

Adaptive Time Horizon for MPC

The typical approach in the receding horizon framework is to choose a fixed time horizon over which to predict the unknown variables and obtain the optimal control input. If we had perfect estimates we could then make the time horizon as large as possible subject to factors such as computation speed, convergence, stability, and satisfaction […]


Dancing Robots

Stylistic Task Specification Framework applied to Aldebaran NAO robotic platform Typically, robotic algorithms focus on tasks which have concrete, functional objectives.  Our framework aims to allow for more general specification based on stylistic considerations.  Namely, we may think of the movement styles exhibited by classical ballerinas, disco dancers, and cheerleaders as differentiated by distinct stylistic tasks.  […]

Mobilie Communiction

Mobile Communication Networks

Mobile Communication Networks Exploration of complex and dangerous territories posts great challenges for robotics research. Intuition suggests that using cooperative multiple vehicles will increase time efficiency. Coordination of multiple vehicles typically relies on communication between vehicles, but direct communication is easily blocked or at least attenuated by obstacles. Hence one major challenge for a successful […]

Bio Inspired

Bio-Inspired Systems

Biologically Inspired Heterogeneous Networks Social behavior of animals can offer solution models for missions involving a large number of heterogeneous vehicles, such as light combat ships, unmanned aerial vehicles, and unmanned underwater vehicles. We draw inspiration from the bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, and develop coordination algorithms for heterogeneous multi-agent systems that are expressive enough to […]


Hybrid Systems

Optimal Control of Hybrid Systems Hybrid systems can accurately model a large number of systems in many application domains where traditional non-linear systems can not. Since they are generally not as well understood, the options to control hybrid systems are usually more limited. Recently, there has been an enormous interest to use optimal control for […]


Heterogeneous Cooperative Networks

Network topology based characterization of heterogeneity   Heterogeneity has emerged as an important aspect of multiagent systems, in which agents with different capabilities and resources interact with each other to perform various complex tasks. In this work, we aim to provide a framework for a network topology based characterization of heterogeneity in multiagent and cooperative networks that also incorporates […]


Networked Robotics

Automatic Deployment of Mobile Robots This is part of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) project. The premise is to use a mobile sensor network of mobile robots to study the effects of climate change on Antarctica. Our aim is to provide high-level control for the mobile sensor network. To this end, we are […]

Leader Follower

Group-based Leader Follower Control

The basis of this work is creating application specific leader follower network topologies that are completely controllable. In particular, single leader networks are considered where the input signal is injected at the leader node and the follower nodes execute a nearest neighbor averaging rule. Under this set up, each network topology can be partitioned into […]


Merging and Spacing

Distributed Air Traffic Scheduling During Terminal Approach     Conventional air traffic management (ATM) practices are known to be too rigid to accomodate for the projected increase in air traffic over the next few decades. To address this issue, the FAA’s NextGen iniative aims to introduce a set of technologies that will modernize the national […]

Convoy Protection

Convoy Protection

Scalable UAV Ground Convoy Protection     When in a hostile environment, obtaining reliable information about upcoming threats ahead of time could mean the difference between life and death. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can travel at high velocities and have a large field of vision, are excellent tools for performing such reconaissance missions. Here […]