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Thursday July 15, 2010
Five Robots to WatchBy NICK BILTON
Presenter: Stephanie Gil
Wednesday July 14, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*
This talk concerns the development of a distributed controller that positions a team of aerial vehicles in a configuration to optimize communication-link quality, providing support to a team of ground vehicles performing a collaborative task. We propose a gradient based control approach where agents’ positions locally minimize a physically motivated cost function.
Stephanie Gil is a PhD candidate with Prof. Daniela Rus in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. Her research interests are in multi-robot control, distributed optimization of ad hoc communication networks, and space robotics. She completed her MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and her BS in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell, where she also worked on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover team.
Sunday October 24, 2010 at 9:00am
Saturday October 23, 2010 at 9:00am
Monday June 21, 2010
Presenter: David Hu (Homepage)
Friday June 18, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
* Alternate Location: Wu and Chen Auditorium*
Snakes propel themselves over land using a variety of techniques, including sidewinding, lateral sinuous slithering and a
unidirectional accordion-like mode. We explore these friction-based propulsion mechanisms through a combined experimental and theoretical investigation. Particular attention is given to classifying the gaits of snakes according to Froude number and the relative magnitudes of the frictional forces in the tangential and normal directions.
David Hu is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. Previously, he served as an instructor at New York University and as a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001 B.S. mechanical engineering, 2005 Ph.D. Mathematics). His lab studies animal locomotion using an array of techniques from interface science (friction and surface tension). Their work has been featured in The Economist, Nature, The New York Times, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. This month, their work on snakes is discussed in American Scientist.
Thursday June 10, 2010
The World Cup gets under way Friday, but the injured player was practicing for another international tournament this month: RoboCup. Soccer played by robots. No water breaks required.
Presenter: Davide Scaramuzza (Homepage)
Tuesday July 20, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*
Cameras are having a large impact on our society, every cell-phone is
equipped with a camera and in the very near future all cars will
feature cameras to improve traffic safety and even clothing will be
equipped with integrated cameras. While cameras are continuing to
pervade our daily lives, optics developers are working on increasing
the field of view of the cameras. If the field of view of a camera
exceeds 180 degrees, it is called an omnidirectional camera.
Up until three years ago, these cameras were too heavy, expensive,
and bulky to be integrated in commercial products.
Davide Scaramuzza (1980, Italian) received his PhD (February 2008) in Computer Vision and Robotics at the ETH Zurich. His PhD thesis won the Robotdalen Scientific Award, which is the most prestigious award for PhD theses in the field of Robotics and Automation. He is currently post-doctoral Fellow at the ETH Zurich, where he is leader and scientific manager of the European project "sFly", which focuses on autonomous navigation of micro helicopters in urban environments using vision as a main sensor modality. Davide is a lecturer of the Master course "Autonomous Mobile Robots" at the ETH Zurich and leader of the ETH-Maverick team which won the 2nd place at the international competition of Micro Aerial Vehicles in September 2009 with the first purely vision based autonomous helicopter. He is also author of the 2nd edition of the textbook "Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots" (MIT Press), along with Roland Siegwart (ETH) and Illah Nourbakhsh (CMU), which will appear in late 2010. Finally, Davide is author of the first open-source Omnidirectional Camera Calibration Toolbox for MATLAB which, besides thousands of downloads worldwide, is also currently used at NASA, Philips, Bosch, Daimler, and Chrysler.
Friday May 28, 2010
We don't know whether we should be terrified or overjoyed. We've just come across a video demo from the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab that shows an autonomous quadrotor helicopter performing "precise aggressive maneuvers." And trust us when we say, nothing in the foregoing sentence is an overstatement -- the thing moves with the speed and grace of an angry bee, while accompanied by the perfectly menacing whine of its little engine. See this work of scientific art in motion after the break.
Presenter: Xu Chu Ding (Homepage)
Wednesday May 19, 2010 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
* Alternate Location: Levine 315 (3330 Walnut Street)*
In this work, we provide a real-time algorithmic
optimal control framework for autonomous switched systems. Traditional
optimal control approaches for autonomous switched system are open-loop
in nature. Therefore, the switching times of the system can not be
adjusted or adapted when the system parameters or the operational
environments change. We aim to close this loop, and apply adaptations
to the optimal switching strategy based on new information that can
only be captured on-line.
Xu Chu Ding received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 2004, 2007 and 2009, respectively. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Boston University in the department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include optimal control of hybrid systems, coordination and control of multi-agent networked systems, and intelligent and persistent surveillance with a network of mobile agents.