Less is more? New approaches for swarm control and inference

8th March 2016, 13:00, H223 (George Holt LT)
Dr Roderich Gross
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
The University of Sheffield


Robot swarms are often said to exhibit emergent properties. Yet, it is possible to design controllers with predictable outcome. We illustrate this for two canonical problems, multi-robot rendezvous and cooperative transport. The simplicity of the controllers (some do not even require arithmetic computation) facilitates their analysis. In the second part of the talk, we address the problem of inferring the rules of swarming agents through observation. We propose Turing Learning - the first system identification method not to rely on pre-defined metrics - and test it on a physical swarm of robots. Finally, we discuss novel development tools. We present OpenSwarm, an operating system for miniature robots, and formal methods for automatic code generation. We report on experiments with up to 600 physical robots.

Bio: Roderich Gross received a Computer Science degree from TU Dortmund University in 2001 and a PhD degree from the Universite libre de Bruxelles in 2007. From 2005 to 2009 he was a JSPS Fellow at Tokyo Institute of Technology, a Research Associate at University of Bristol, a Marie Curie Fellow at Unilever, and a Marie Curie Fellow at EPFL. Since 2010, he has been with the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield, where he is currently a Senior Lecturer. His research interests include distributed robotics and natural computing. He has authored more than 60 publications on these topics, which have been cited 2000 times. Dr Gross serves/has served as the General Chair of DARS 2016, Editor of IROS 2015 - 2016, Associate Editor of ICRA 2014 - 2015, Program Co-Chair of AAMAS 2016 (robotics track), ANTS 2012, and TAROS 2011, Part Editor of the Springer Handbook of Computational Intelligence, and Associate Editor of Swarm Intelligence, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, and IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine.

Additional Materials