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Fall 2009 GRASP Seminar: Lynne Parker, University of Tennessee, “General Information Quality-Based Approach for Satisfaction of Sensor Constraints in Tightly-Coupled Multi-Robot Tasks”

October 23, 2009 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: Many architectures have been proposed to solve tightly-coupled
multirobot tasks (MT) through coalitions of heterogeneous robots.
However, several issues remain unaddressed.  As coalitions are formed,
sensor constraints among robots are also established. For example, in a
leader-follower task, follower robots must keep leader robots within
their sights, while in a box-pushing task, pusher robots must maintain
proper pushing positions relative to other robot teammates while
aligning their pushing direction to the goal. The question of how to
keep these constraints satisfied during the entire execution, from
initial configurations to completeness of the task, remains an open
issue. In addition, environmental factors, both static and dynamic, can
influence the maintenance of the constraints.  Moreover, problems arise
when the constraints are unsatisfiable given the current circumstances.
For example, the sight of the leader might be blocked or there might be
obstacles in the pushing path. In order to create a general method to
address these issues for various applications, we propose an approach
based on measures of information quality using sampling techniques. Our
approach to the general method combines the use of sensor models,
environment sampling, measures of information quality, a motion model
with sampling, and a constraint model. To illustrate this method, we
apply the approach to solve robot tracking and navigation tasks both in
simulation and with physical robots. Experimental results illustrate
the flexibility and robustness of the approach.


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Dr. Lynne Parker is Professor in the Min H. Kao Department of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at The University of
Tennessee, Knoxville, where she directs the research of the Distributed
Intelligence Laboratory. She joined UTK in 2002, after working for
several years as a Distinguished Research and Development Staff Member
at Oak Ridge National Lab. Dr. Parker received her Ph.D. degree in
computer science from MIT, performing her research in MIT’s Artificial
Intelligence Laboratory. Dr. Parker has published over 100 articles in
the areas of mobile robot cooperation, human-robot cooperation, robotic
learning, intelligent agent architectures, and robot navigation. For
this research, she was awarded the PECASE (Presidential Early Career
Award for Scientists and Engineers) in 2000. Lynne serves on several
national and international boards, such as the National Research
Council’s (NRC) Panel on Air and Ground Vehicle Technology, which
evaluates research at the Army Research Laboratory, and the NRC Study
Panel on Persistent Surveillance, which is exploring technological
solutions to defeat the Improvised Explosive Device threat. She is a
senior Editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics, and is on the Editorial
Boards of IEEE Intelligent Systems and the Swarm Intelligence journal.


October 23, 2009
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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