PhD Defense: "Communication and Motion Co-Optimization of Robotic Operations"

Yuan Yan

May 21st (Thursday), 2:00pm
Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 2001

In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the wireless sensor networks and networked robotic systems. In order to achieve the full potential of such systems, integrative approaches which design the communication, navigation and sensing aspects of the systems simultaneously are needed. However, most of the existing work in control and robotics communities uses over-simplified disk models, while most of the work in networking and communication communities does not fully explore the benefits of motion.

This talk mainly focuses on co-optimizing these three aspects simultaneously in realistic communication environments that experience path loss, shadowing and multipath fading. We show how to integrate the probabilistic channel prediction framework, which allows the robots to predict the channel quality at unvisited locations, into the co-optimization design. In particular, we consider four different scenarios: 1) communication and motion energy co-optimization along a pre-defined trajectory, 2) communication and motion energy co-optimization with trajectory planning, 3) clustering and path planning strategies for robotic data collection, and 4) robotic router formation.

Our goal is to see the impact of realistic communication channels on the communication and motion strategies of the robot, the trajectory design, as well as the configuration of robotic teams. Our results show that the proposed frameworks considerably outperform the cases where the communication, motion and sensing aspects of the systems are optimized separately, indicating the necessity of co-optimization. Our results also show the significant benefits of using the realistic channel model as compared to the case of using over-simplified communication models.

About Yuan Yan:

Yuan Yan received the BS and MS degrees from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, in 2006 and 2008, respectively. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research interest is communication, motion and sensing co-optimization of robotics in realistic communication environments.

Hosted by: Professor Yasamin Mostofi