Abstract: Increases in fast and inexpensive computing and communications have enabled a new generation of information-rich control systems that rely on multi-threaded networked execution, distributed optimization, adaptation and learning, and contingency management in increasingly sophisticated ways. This talk will describe a framework for building such systems and lay out some of the challenges to control theory that must be addressed to enable systematic design and analysis. A driving example is provided by Alice, an autonomous vehicle that competed in the 2005 and 2007 DARPA Grand Challenges. Key features of Alice include a highly sensory-driven approach to fuse sensor data into speed maps used by real-time trajectory optimization algorithms, health and contingency management algorithms to manage failures at the component and system level, and a multi-threaded, networked control architecture that enables plug-and-play operations and testing.
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