Friday, February 14, 2020 at 2:00pm
Packard Laboratory, 466
19 Memorial Dr W, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Safe & Distributed Robot Autonomy in Unknown Environments
ABSTRACT: Recent advances in machine learning, computer vision, and control theory offer a tremendous opportunity to deploy autonomous robot systems to uncharted environments to accomplish complex missions. Such tasks are particularly challenging as they require the robots to operate in environments with unknown structure, degraded environmental conditions, severe communication and sensing constraints, and expansive areas of operation. With the goal of ultimately designing safe, robust and autonomous robotic systems that can operate in these conditions, in the first part of this talk, I will present a novel perception-based control framework that allows autonomous multi-robot systems to accomplish complex missions in unknown environments. The proposed approach generates reactive control policies that adapt to the continuously learned map of the environment that is updated using sensing and perception systems. The second part of this talk will focus on communication-aware control methods for robot teams that reside in environments with severe communication constraints. In particular, I will present a distributed intermittent connectivity framework that enables robots to communicate in an intermittent fashion, and operate in disconnect mode the rest of the time to accomplish their assigned tasks. Experiments and theoretical analysis that support the proposed methods will be discussed.
BIO: Yiannis Kantaros received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2012 from the University of Patras, Patras, Greece. He also received the M.Sc. and the Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University, Durham, NC, in 2017 and 2018, respectively. He is currently a postdoctoral research in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on distributed control, machine learning and formal methods with applications to distributed robotics. He received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2nd IEEE Global Conference on Signal and Information Processing in 2014 and the 2017-18 Outstanding Dissertation Research Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC.