MEMS Seminar: Research on Autonomous Robot Teams and Swarms at the Naval Research Laboratory

Sep 19

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium Side A, room 1464

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Don Sofge | U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Dr. Don Sofge

This project explores the production of self-organized states in a system of communicating robots (miniature autonomous blimps) with mass and physical extent (area or volume) such that collisions may occur. Specifically, we perform experiments to enable a formation of communicating robots to form a pattern maintained just by interacting communication rules. We study the effects of variation of controlling parameters including mass, area, and communication with number of nearest neighbors on swarm dynamics and pattern formation as agents collide and are removed. All collisions are considered catastrophic. Collisions may be reduced or avoided through use of a repulsion term between agents, but we confirm that this repulsion term affects the swarm dynamics as well. Repulsion also affects the rate of attrition of swarm agents. We evaluate the effects on pattern formation and swarm dynamics of repulsion in combination with other previously mentioned controlling parameters.

Don Sofge is a Computer Scientist and Roboticist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) with 30 years of experience in Artificial Intelligence and Control Systems R&D. He has served as PI or Co-PI on dozens of federally funded R&D programs, and has approximately 110 peer-reviewed publications on autonomy, intelligent control, quantum computing, and related topics, including 5 books, 10 book chapters, 19 journal articles, 62 conference papers, and one patent. Don leads the Distributed Autonomous Systems Group at NRL where he develops nature-inspired computing solutions to challenging problems in sensing, artificial intelligence, and control of autonomous robotic systems. His current research focuses on control of autonomous teams or swarms of robotic systems for Navy relevant missions. He has served on numerous technical peer review panels for government agencies including ONR, DARPA, Army, NASA, and NSF. He is also frequently called upon to review submissions for a variety of journals and conferences, and regularly serves in a professional capacity to help organize conferences, symposia, and workshops. He currently serves on several editorial boards for journals related to computational intelligence and control, as well as technical advisory panels on robotics and autonomy (for OSTP, OSD, DARPA, NSF, TTCP, and NATO).

Lunch will be served at 11:30 am.

Hosted by Dr. Mary 'Missy' Cummings


Laura Dzwonczyk