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Spring 2024 GRASP SFI: Spring Berman, Arizona State University, “Scalable Control of Distributed Robotic Systems for Environmental Sensing and Interaction”

February 28 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This was be a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Levine 307 and virtual attendance. This week’s speaker was be virtual.


Various applications for autonomous multi-robot systems, such as disaster response, infrastructure repair, agricultural operations, contaminant cleanup, and wildfire suppression, will require these systems to act as distributed sensors, sources, and manipulators in uncertain environments, often without global localization or extensive inter-robot communication. This talk will present dynamical model-based approaches to controlling mobile robot collectives and soft modular robots that operate under such constraints using local sensing and local or no communication. By applying feedback control and optimization techniques to models that describe the dynamics of a continuous abstraction of the system and its individually controllable components, including their stochastic behaviors, scalable control strategies can be designed for a variety of objectives. This talk will discuss strategies for the particular objectives of mapping and control of scalar environmental fields by robotic swarms, cooperative object transport by groups of mobile robots, and reconfiguration of multi-segment continuum robots. The control strategies are illustrated in numerical and physics-based simulations and in experiments with robotic hardware.


Spring Berman

Spring Berman

Spring Berman is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Graduate Faculty in Computer Science and Exploration Systems Design at Arizona State University (ASU). She directs the Autonomous Collective Systems Laboratory and is an Associate Director of the Center for Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming (CHART) within the ASU Global Security Initiative. Prior to joining ASU in 2012, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science at Harvard University. She received the Ph.D. and M.S.E. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania and the B.S.E. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. She was a recipient of the ONR Young Investigator Award (2016) and the DARPA Young Faculty Award (2014).


February 28
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Levine 307
3330 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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