Faculty Directory

Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Maryland Robotics Center
The Institute for Systems Research
2104A Glenn L. Martin Hall, Building 088

Yancy Diaz-Mercado earned his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016, and his M.S. from the same institution in 2014. He graduated magna cum laude in 2011 with a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. He is the director of the Collaborative Controls and Robotics Laboratory, whose research focus is on developing collaborative autonomy for multi-agent systems, robotics, and enabling human-swarm interactions.
Before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland College Park as an assistant professor in 2018, Dr. Diaz was a senior professional engineer with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and a member of the Advanced Concepts section within the Guidance, Navigation, and Controls group.

Dr. Diaz is interested in the control and coordination of multi-agent systems using control theory, optimization, and graph theory. In particular, he is interested in developing theoretically-sound, scalable control solutions that enable effective control of large-scale networked systems, and applying these to facilitate robot swarm manipulation.


IEEE Spectrum Spotlight

Your finger on a tablet can control entire swarms of robots.


Science Magazine Spotlight

How to control a robot fleet using a smart tablet.


WSB-TV (Channel 2 Action News) Interview with Craig Lucie

Georgia tech project could change how rescuers respond to disasters.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/georgia- tech- project- could-change-how-rescuers-res/nmXNC/

Georgia Tech News.

Controlling swarms of robots with a finger.


Fox News.

Want to control a swarm of robots? Georgia tech has the answer.



Watch a simple tablet control robot swarm.


Tech Times.

Control your own robot army with the tip of your finger.


Tech Crunch.

Swarming robots can now follow your fingertips.


NH Voice.

Researchers program robots to respond to commands issued through tablet device.


Perfect Science.

Engineers program army of robots to respond to commands issued through tablet.


Spring 2020

ENME 462: Vibrations, Controls, and Optimization II

Fall 2019

ENME 808T: Advaced Topics: Network Control Systems

Spring 2019

ENME 361: Vibrations, Controls, and Optimization I

Fall 2018

ENME 462: Vibrations, Controls, and Optimization II


PhD Thesis

Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Interactions in Multi-Robot Systems

Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016.

Book Chapters

Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Lee, Sung G; Egerstedt, Magnus

Human-Swarm Interactions via Coverage of Time-Varying Densities

Wang, Yue; Zhang, Fumin (Ed.): Trends in Control and Decision-Making for Human-Robot Collaboration Systems, Chapter 15, Springer, 2017.


Journal Articles


Mair, L O; Liu, X; Dandamudi, B; Jain, K; Chowdhury, S; Weed, J; Diaz-Mercado, Y; Weinberg, I N; Krieger, A

MagnetoSuture: Tetherless Manipulation of Suture Needles

IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, 2 (2), pp. 206-215, 2020.


Davydov, Alexander ; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Sparsity Structure and Optimality of Multi-Robot Coverage Control

IEEE Control Systems Letters, 4 (1), pp. 13-18, 2020.


Santos, Maria; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Egerstedt, Magnus

Coverage Control for Multirobot Teams With Heterogeneous Sensing Capabilities

Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), IEEE, 3 (2), pp. 919-925, 2018.


Rivera-Ortiz, Phillip; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

On Guaranteed Capture in Multi-Player Reach-Avoid Games via Coverage Control

Control Systems Letters (L-CSS), IEEE, 2 (4), pp. 767-772, 2018, ISSN: 2475-1456.


Diaz-Mercado, Y; Egerstedt, M

Multirobot Mixing via Braid Groups

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, PP (99), pp. 1-11, 2017, ISSN: 1552-3098.


Lee, Sung G; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Egerstedt, Magnus

Multi-Robot Control Using Time-Varying Density Functions

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, 31 (2), pp. 489-493, 2015, ISSN: 1552-3098.

Conference Proceedings


Fan, Matthew; Liu, Xiaolong; Jain, Kamakshi; Lerner, Daniel; Weinberg, Irving N; Mair, Lamar O; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Krieger, Axel

Towards Autonomous Control of Magnetic Suture Needles

Intelligent Robots and Systems, IEEE International Conference on, Forthcoming, ((Under Review)).



Davydov, Alexander ; Yeo, Derrick; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Low-Mobility Atmospheric Sensing via Multi-Vehicle Adaptive Coverage Control

2020 AIAA AVIATION Forum, 2020.


Xu, Xiaotian; Rodríguez-Seda, Erick J; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Persistent Awareness-Based Multi-Robot Coverage Control

Forthcoming, ((Under Review)).



Rodríguez-Seda, Erick J; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Decentralized Persistent Area Coverage Control with Loss of Awareness

Control Technology and Applications (CCTA), IEEE Conference on, Forthcoming, ((To Appear)).



Rivera-Ortiz, Phillip; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Kobilarov, Marin

Multi-Player Pursuer Coordination for Nonlinear Reach-Avoid Games in Arbitrary Dimensions via Coverage Control

2020 American Controls Conference (ACC), Forthcoming, ((To Appear)).



Xu, Xiaotian; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Multi-Robot Control Using Coverage Over Time-Varying Domains

2020 American Controls Conference (ACC), Forthcoming, ((To Appear, Keynote Presentation)).



Xu, Xiaotian; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Multi-Robot Control Using Coverage Over Time-Varying Non-Convex Domains

2020 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Forthcoming, ((To Appear)).



Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Jones, Austin; Egerstedt, Magnus; Belta, Calin

Correct-by-Construction Synthesis for Multi-Robot Mixing

Decision and Control (CDC), IEEE 54nd Annual Conference on, 2015.


Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Lee, Sung G; Egerstedt, Magnus

Distributed Dynamic Density Coverage for Human-Swarm Interactions

American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 353-358, 2015.


Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Egerstedt, Magnus

Multi-Robot Mixing of Nonholonomic Mobile Robots

Control Applications (CCA), IEEE Conference on, pp. 524-529, 2014.


Lu, Jun; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Egerstedt, Magnus; Zhou, Haomin; Chow, Shui-Nee

Shortest Paths Through 3-Dimensional Cluttered Environments

Robotics and Automation (ICRA), IEEE International Conference on, pp. 6579-6585, 2014.


Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Egerstedt, Magnus

Multi-Robot Mixing Using Braids

Decision and Control (CDC), IEEE 52nd Annual Conference on, pp. 2001-2005, 2013, ISSN: 0743-1546.


Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Lee, Sung G; Egerstedt, Magnus; Young, Shih-Yih

Optimal trajectory generation for next generation flight management systems

Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), IEEE/AIAA 32nd, pp. 3C5-1-3C5-10, 2013, ISSN: 2155-7195.


Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Pabon, Jose; Ortiz-Rivera, Eduardo

Voltage regulation for a thermoelectric generator using a KY-converter

Center for Power Electronic Systems Annual Conference (CPES), 2011.



Garcia-Vergara, Sergio; Pabon, Jose; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Ortiz-Rivera, Eduardo

An integrated undergraduate research experience in control, power electronics, and design using a Micromouse

Frontiers in Education, IEEE, 2010.



Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Garcia-Vergara, Sergio; Pabon, Jose; Ortiz-Rivera, Eduardo

Maximum power control based on matching dc motor dynamics and fuel cell dynamic behavior

Center for Power Electronic Systems Annual Conference (CPES), 2010.


Online Abstracts


Caminita, Mia; Honavar, Sara; Kwon, Hyun Joon; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Hahn, Jin-Oh; Kiemel, Tim; Shim, Jae Kun

Interpersonal and interlimb synergies in handling of a heavy object motor task

01.08.2020, (Under Review).



Xu, Xiaotian; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Multi-Robot Control Using Coverage Over Time-Varying Domains: Extended Abstract




Canal, Gregory; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Rozell, Christopher; Egerstedt, Magnus

Controlling High-Complexity Robotic Swarms with Low-Complexity EEG Brain-Machine Interfaces

Washington, DC, 01.01.2017, (Program No. 147.38).


Intellectual Property


Egerstedt, Magnus; Lee, Sung Gun; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy; Chopra, Smriti

Control of Swarming Robots

2015, (US Patent).


Egerstedt, Magnus; Lee, Sung G; Diaz-Mercado, Yancy

Density-Based Manipulation of Teams of Robots

2014, (US Provisional Patent).


MRC Faculty, Researchers, and Students Present 24 Papers at ICRA 2023

MRC researchers have a strong showing at ICRA 2023.

MRC Faculty and Researchers to Present 15 Papers at International Robotics Conference - IROS 2022

15 MRC faculty and researchers to present 15 papers at IROS 2022

Three Ph.D. students awarded Amazon Lab126 Fellowships

Sydrak Abdi, Sara Honarvar and Pedro Sandoval-Segura are the Fellowship recipients.

MRC Faculty and Researchers to Present 16 Papers at International Robotics Conference - IROS 2020

International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - From 25 October 2020 until 29 November 2020

$100,000 investment from Amazon to power Clark School initiatives in diversity, robotics research and education

Beneficiaries include two Ph.D. fellowships in robotics, the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering, a robotics capstone course, the Black Engineers Society and the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers.

MRC Researchers to Present 16 Papers at ICRA 2020

International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2020 will be held online from May 31st to August 31st. MRC researchers will be presenting 16 papers at this conference.  

MRC welcomes new faculty members

MRC welcomes new faculty members: Dr Yancy Diaz Mercado, Dr Mark Fuge and Dr Jae Kun Shim