Director, Flow Control and Coordinated Robotics Labs
University of California, San Diego
Recent advances in both the accurate dynamic modeling of complex systems as well as the effective control of such systems via feedback are remarkable. Together with concomitant advances in mechatronics, inexpensive sensors (MEMS gyros & accels, magnetometors, and encoders), batteries, GPS, microprocessors, high-resolution 3D imaging systems, wireless communication, and high performance computing, the potential for a revolution in the capabilities of small mobile robotic systems, and coordinated swarms of such systems deployed for addressing various grand challenge applications (surveillance, mapping, plume forecasting, etc), is now upon us. This talk will discuss a few of the advanced & patent-pending multimodal robotic systems being developed by our lab at UCSD, and introduce a few of the new coordination algorithms (specifically, for the problems of data assimilation and adaptive observation of chem/rad/bio/ash/oil contaminant plumes) that our lab is developing for several grand-challenge applications that such robotic systems may be deployed to address.
Dr. Thomas Bewley (BS/MS Caltech 1989, diploma VKI 1990, and, after a brief stint in the USAF, PhD Stanford 1998) works at the intersection of control theory, fluid mechanics, numerical methods, and applied math, and has a particular interest in the analysis, estimation, & forecasting of environmental flow systems with coordinated deployments of advanced robotic systems. Related projects include contaminant plume forecasting, in-situ hurricane and ocean current monitoring leveraging buoyancy-controlled balloons and drifters, and advanced work in 3D simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Other recent work includes the use of n-d sphere packing theory for both derivative-free optimization as well as the design of new switchless topologies for structured computational interconnects for parallel computing. Dr. Bewley is the sole author of the forthcoming textbook Numerical Renaissance: simulation, optimization, & control, as well as its extensive accompanying codebase.