Maryland Robotics Center Seminar
Pursuit and Cohesion: Bio-inspiration for Collective Robotics
Professor P.S. Krishnaprasad
Institute for Systems Research and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Maryland
College Park, Md.
Pursuit behaviors in nature have a vital role in survival of species in prey capture, mate-seeking, assertion of control over territory, and other settings. In this talk we discuss examples of such behavior, and the inspiration they offer by way of principles and algorithms for collective robotics. We examine geometric patterns in pursuit and propose sensorimotor feedback laws that explain such patterns. Models of interacting particles, developed in collaboration with Eric Justh, prove effective in formulating and deriving biologically plausible steering laws that lead to observed patterns. Applications of such steering laws arise in studies of insect capture behavior in the echolocating bat Eptesicus fuscus, initiated by Cynthia Moss. In joint work with Kaushik Ghose, Timothy Horiuchi, Eric Justh, Cynthia Moss, and Viswanadha Reddy, we have begun to understand the control systems guiding the flight of the bat. The effectiveness of the bat in coping with, attenuation and noise, uncertainty of the environment, and sensorimotor delay, makes it a most interesting model system for engineers concerned with goal-directed and resource-constrained information processing in robotics. The bats neural realizations of auditory-motor feedback loops may serve as models for implementations of algorithms in robot designs. Our results suggest ways to use pursuit as a building block in mechanisms for flocking in nature and in machines.
P.S. Krishnaprasad received the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1977. He taught in the Systems Engineering Department at Case Western Reserve University from 1977 to 1980. Since August 1980, he has been with the University of Maryland, where he now holds the position of Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, with a joint appointment at the Institute for Systems Research. He also participates in the Program in Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, and the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.
Dr. Krishnaprasad's interests lie in the broad areas of geometric control theory, filtering and signal processing theory, robotics, acoustics, and biologically-inspired approaches to control, sensing and computation. He has made contributions to system identification, geometric mechanics, languages for robotics, actuation based on smart materials, and control of collectives. His current work is focused on pursuit and cohesion in nature and in engineered systems.
Dr. Krishnaprasad was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 1990. He was appointed a 1998-2000 Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow of the University of Maryland. He was the Munich Mathematical Colloquium Lecturer in October 2006. He is the recipient of the 2007 Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize of the IEEE Control Systems Society, for distinguished contributions to control systems science and engineering.