Control and Coordination for a Network of

Ground and Aerial Robots

Vijay Kumar
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
and Department of Computer and Information Science
GRASP Laboratory
University of Pennsylvania


The talk addresses the basic problems in the organization, coordination and cooperation in a team of mobile robots equipped with sensors and wireless network cards. I will discuss algorithms for discovery, cooperative localization and cooperative control. Discovery involves the use of sensory information to organize the robots into a mobile network allowing each robot to establish its neighbors and, when necessary, one or more leaders. Cooperative control is the task of achieving a desired formation shape and maintaining it. Cooperative localization allows each robot to estimate its relative position and orientation with respect to its neighbors and hence the formation shape. Finally, I'll present analytical and experimental results for a team of nonholonomic, wheeled robots with omnidirectional cameras, with applications to cooperative mapping and manipulation tasks.

Brief Biography:

VIJAY KUMAR received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1985 and 1987 respectively. He has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the
University of Pennsylvania since 1987. He is currently a Professor and the Deputy Dean for research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and directs the GRASP Laboratory, an interdisciplinary laboratory with faculty and students in robotics, control and vision.  He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Robotics International, Society of Manufacturing Engineers.  He has served on the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Editorial Board of the Journal of Franklin Institute and the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design.  He is the recipient of the 1991 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award and the 1997 Freudenstein Award for significant accomplishments in mechanisms and robotics.  His research interests include robotics, dynamics, control, design, and biomechanics.