Control of Networks of Unmanned Vehicles


Shankar Sastry


(joint work with Joao Hespanha, Hyoun Jin Kim, Maria Prandini,

Omid Shakernia, Cory Sharp, David Shim, and John Koo and Rene Vidal.)

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

University of California, Berkeley CA 94720





At Berkeley we have been interested in design schemes for network of complex networks of semi-autonomous agents. These networks are characterized by interaction between discrete decision making and continuous control. The control of such systems is often frequently organized in hierarchical fashion to obtain a logarithmic decrease in complexity associated with the design. We have used as examples three classes of systems to motivate the design approach:


1. Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS)


2. Air Traffic Management Systems (ATMS)


3. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


Over the last five years or so, a group of us have developed a set of design approaches which are aimed at designing control schemes which are live, deadlock free, and “safe”. Our design methodology is to be considered an alternative to the verification based approaches to hybrid control systems design, and is an interesting blend of game theoretic ideas, planning and fault handling in a probabilistic framework, mathematical and temporal logic and planning ideas from robotics. In today's talk, I will focus on design problems involved in coordinating groups of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Problems to be addressed include:


1. Design of embedded software for real-time control.


2. Vision based landing and navigation.


3. Pursuit Evasion problems for multi-UAV missions.


The last set of issues touches on issues of decentralized map making, computationally tractable solutions of pursuit evasion games with partial information and probabilistic verification.


Brief Biograph:


S. Shankar Sastry became Chairman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley in January, 2001. The previous year, he served as Director of the Information Technology Office at DARPA. From 1996-1999, he was the Director of the Electronics Research Laboratory at Berkeley, an organized research unit on the Berkeley campus conducting research in computer sciences and all aspects of electrical engineering. During his Directorship from 1996-99 the laboratory grew from $ 29M to $ 50 M in volume of extra-mural funding.  He is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and a Professor of Bioengineering. 


Dr. Sastry received his Ph.D. degree in 1981 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was on the faculty of MIT as Asst. Professor from 1980-82 and Harvard University as a chaired Gordon Mc Kay professor in 1994. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, Canberra the University of Rome, Scuola Normale and University of Pisa, the CNRS laboratory LAAS in Toulouse (poste rouge), Professor Invite at Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (CNRS laboratory VERIMAG), and as a Vinton Hayes Visiting fellow at the Center for Intelligent Control Systems at MIT. His areas of research are embedded and autonomous software, computer vision, computation in novel substrates such as DNA, nonlinear and adaptive control, robotic telesurgery, control of hybrid systems, embedded systems, sensor networks and biological motor control.


Nonlinear Systems: Analysis, Stability and Control is Dr. Sastry's latest book, published by Springer-Verlag in 1999. He has coauthored over 250 technical papers and 8 books, including Adaptive Control: Stability, Convergence and Robustness (with M. Bodson, Prentice Hall, 1989) and A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation (with R. Murray and Z. Li, CRC Press, 1994). He has co-edited Hybrid Control II, Hybrid Control IV and Hybrid Control V (with P. Antsaklis, A. Nerode, and W. Kohn, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 1995, 1997, and 1999, respectively) and co edited Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (with T. Henzinger, Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 1998) and Essays in Mathematical Robotics (with Baillieul and Sussmann, Springer-Verlag IMA Series). Books on Embedded Software and Structure from Motion in Computer Vision are in progress.


Dr. Sastry served as Associate Editor for numerous publications, including: IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control; IEEE Control Magazine; IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems; the Journal of Mathematical Systems, Estimation and Control; IMA Journal of Control and Information; the International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing; Journal of Biomimetic Systems and Materials.

Dr. Sastry was elected into the National Academy of Engineering in 2001 "for pioneering contributions to the design of hybrid and embedded systems." He also received the President of India Gold Medal in 1977, the IBM Faculty Development award for 1983-1985, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1985 and the Eckman Award of the of the American Automatic Control Council in 1990, an M. A. (honoris causa) from Harvard in 1994, Fellow of the IEEE in 1994, the distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Technology in 1999, and the David Marr prize for the best paper at the International Conference in Computer Vision in 1999.


He has supervised 45 doctoral students to completion and over 50 MS students. His students now occupy leadership roles in several locations such as Dean of Engineering at Caltech, Director of Information Systems Laboratory, Stanford, Army Research Office, and on the faculties of every major university in the United States and abroad.