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Applied Physics Lab Special Seminar
WhenTuesday, Jun 18, 2019, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
WhereUniversity of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory
1013 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA 98105
Campus roomApplied Physics Laboratory
Event typesAcademics
Description

Speaker: Paul Reverdy
         Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
         University of Arizona
         Tucson, Arizona

Title:   MOTION PLANNING AND DECISION MAKING FOR AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS

Time:    Tuesday, June 18, 2:30 PM             

(Coffee/Tea, Cookies and Conversation at 2:00PM)

Place: APL Hardisty Conference Center

Abstract:

Mobile robots are becoming increasingly ubiquitous due to technological advances in sensing,
actuation, and computation. However, devising control strategies to ensure that robots perform
their assigned tasks in unpredictable real-world environments remains a challenge. An approach
that has proved useful in practice is to encode tasks as attractors of dynamical systems, e.g.,
design vector fields that steer a vehicle to a desired location. To encode richer behaviors, one
can develop methods to switch among low-level point-attractor controllers; this is often done by
developing an automaton that discretely switches between available controllers, yielding a
hybrid dynamical system. In this work, we develop an alternative approach based on a dynamical
systems mechanism for making decisions, i.e., choosing controllers. The system associates a
value with each possible controller and then selects the controller with the highest value. We
derive conditions under which the system exhibits a stable limit cycle which corresponds to
persistently carrying out the desired tasks. We conclude the talk by discussing some more recent
results integrating stochastic external stimuli into the dynamical system.

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