News Archives

Heterogeneity in Robotic Networks (Video)

October 5, 2012

  • Date: Friday, October 5, 2012 
  • Time: 12:00 pm — 12:50 pm 
  • Place: Centennial Engineering Center 1041


Rafael Fierro
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering University of New Mexico 

As advances in mechanics, drive technology, microelectronics, control and communications make mobile robots ever more capable and affordable, the deployment of robotics networks is becoming a reality. A team of robots equipped with a diverse set of sensors, radios and actuators offers numerous advantages over a single unit. Some of the potential advantages include increased fault tolerance, redundancy, greater area coverage, distributed sensing and coordinated manipulation of large objects. Achieving the desired group behavior requires adequate integration of control and decision making mechanisms, and communication protocols.

In this talk, I will describe approaches that enable prioritized sensing and make use of team of robotic agents with different capabilities when large search areas need to be investigated. A heterogeneous team allows for the robots to become specialized in their abilities and therefore accomplish sub-goals more efficiently which in turn makes the overall mission more efficient. Moreover, I will present our recent results on planning for robotic routers to establish a communication network that will allow human operators or other agents to communicate with remote base stations or data fusion centers. Finally, I will outline our current work on key methodologies that enable agile load transportation using micro UAVs.


Bio: Rafael Fierro is an Associate Professor of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico where he has been since 2007. He received a M.Sc. degree in control engineering from the University of Bradford, England and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington in 1997. Prior to joining UNM, he held a postdoctoral appointment with the GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and a faculty position with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oklahoma State University. His research interests include nonlinear and adaptive control, robotics, hybrid systems, autonomous vehicles, and multi-agent systems. He directs the Multi-Agent, Robotics, Hybrid and Embedded Systems (MARHES) Laboratory. Rafael Fierro was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a 2004 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and the 2007 International Society of Automation (ISA) Transactions Best Paper Award. He is serving as Associate Editor for the IEEE Control Systems Magazine and IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering.

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