PRG Seminar: Multi-vehicle Control and Autonomy for Swarming Quadrotors

Friday, November 8, 2019
10:30 a.m.
2121 JM Patterson
Ania Picard
301 405 4358

Perception and Robotics Group Seminar Series on Robotics and Computer Vision

Multi-vehicle Control and Autonomy for Swarming Quadrotors

Derek Paley
Director, Maryland Robotics Center and
Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education
University of Maryland, College Park

This talk will present a cooperative-control framework designed to enable swarms of quadrotors to autonomously detect moving people and vehicles in an uncertain and complex environment. The talk will first describe inspiration from prior work in swarming and pursuit behavior in wild malarial mosquitoes. Then I will describe a distributed control for concurrent mapping and search. Swarm agents have a finite field of view and they collaborate to map the environment represented by a graph. Nodes of the occupancy graph indicate the target likelihood ratio and inform the swarm’s search strategy. The evolving priorities of the swarm are represented by a spatially varying sampling priority surface that is used to identify tasks of high value. The candidate tasks are assigned to agents in the swarm using a consensus-based auction algorithm. Ongoing efforts seek to demonstrate the swarming framework using a multivehicle testbed under development at the University of Maryland’s outdoor netted Fearless Flight Facility. To enable reliable outdoor flight in wind, we are investigating improvements in attitude stability that are obtained by equipping each quadrotor with an onboard wind-velocity probe.

Derek A. Paley is Director of the Maryland Robotics Center and Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. He is the founding director of the UMD Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory, the UMD Autonomous Micro Air Vehicle Team, and the UMD FIRE Autonomous Unmanned Systems Stream. Paley is an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a member of the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, the Maryland Robotics Center, the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics, the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation Program, and the Brain and Behavior Initiative. Paley received the B.S. degree in Applied Physics from Yale University in 1997 and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2007. He is the recipient of the Yale University Henry Prentiss Becton Prize for Excellence in Engineering and Applied Science in 1997, the Princeton University Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship in 2006, the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2010, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012, the University of Maryland E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty in 2014, and the AIAA National Capital Section Engineer of the Year in 2015. Paley was a Fellow in the 2013–2014 Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Fellowship Program and is a Fellow in the 2019–2020 UMD ADVANCE Leadership Fellows Program. Paley has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications including one textbook: Engineering Dynamics: A Comprehensive Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2011). He teaches introductory dynamics, advanced dynamics, aircraft flight dynamics and control, and nonlinear control. Paley’s research interests are in the area of dynamics and control, including cooperative control of autonomous vehicles, adaptive sampling with mobile networks, and spatial modeling of biological groups. His research is based on support by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. Paley is Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He serves as Associate Editor of AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics.


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