University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

A Talk on “Multi-Robot Systems - Developing Tools for Science

A Talk on “Multi-Robot Systems - Developing Tools for Science

A Talk on “Multi-Robot Systems - Developing Tools for Science

January 11, 2016 - 11:10 am
Winston Chung Hall, 205/206


Multi-robot systems offer several potential advantages over single robot systems, including greater spatio-temporal sampling resolution, force multiplication, and robustness to failure. With these advantages, comes the necessity to coordinate the actions of robots.

Over the past 10 years, researchers in the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics have been developing novel multi-robot coordination systems based on control theoretic tools and algorithmic foundations. The motivation behind many of these developments is to develop tools that facilitate scientific field studies taking place in Malta, Costa Rica, Norway, Hawaii, Denmark, California, and the Arctic. A goal of these studies is to not only validate our robotic systems, but generate useful data for scientists including marine biologists and archeologists.

This talk will summarize our contributions, by highlighting work in multi-robot motion planning, and the use of modeling altruism and trust between robots. These highlights will be followed by a description of two projects requiring a substantial number field deployments. The first will be our "Malta Cistern Mapping" project. Using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), we have explored and mapped over 60 different archeological sites across Malta and Sicily. The second project to be described will be "Shark Tracking with Multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles". For the past 4 years we have been developing a multi-AUV system that cooperatively tracks and autonomously follows leopard sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters. Our deployments at Catalina Island, California have resulted in many hours of autonomous AUV tracking of live sharks with state estimation errors lower than those achieved by standard "active tracking" techniques.

More information can be found at:


Dr. Christopher Clark is a Professor in the Engineering Department at Harvey Mudd College where he directs the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics (LAIR). He obtained his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen's University in 1995, his M.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1995, and his Ph.D. in Aeronautics & Astronautics with a minor in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2004. Before Joining Harvey Mudd, he taught and conducted research at the University of Waterloo, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, and was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. His industry experience includes working as a Control Systems Designer for Sterner Automation, and working as a software architect for Kiva Systems. His research areas include multi-robot systems, autonomous navigation, motion planning, applied SLAM, field robotics, and underwater robot systems. Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia where he is currently an Associate Professor.





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University of California, Riverside
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Electrical and Computer Engineering
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University of California, Riverside
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