Techno-Sciences Inc. Robotics Seminar Series: Marc Steinberg, ONR

Friday, October 28, 2011
2:00 p.m.
1146 A.V. Williams Building
Rebecca Hranj

Techno-Sciences Inc. Robotics Seminar Series
Biologically-Inspired Approaches for Collaboration of Heterogeneous Autonomous Naval Systems

Marc Steinberg
Office of Naval Research

This talk will discuss biologically-inspired approaches for collaboration of heterogeneous systems in naval environments. Key aspects of the naval domain that make this a particularly difficult problem include spatially and temporally variable and uncertain environments, operations with limited resources, diverse user communities, limited communications, and highly heterogeneous systems across the air, ground, sea surface, and undersea domains. The talk will first describe the fundamental research challenges that relate to these complex naval environments. Secondly, the talk will provide a short introduction to the current state of relevant biological research as relates to collective animal behavior. Following this, the talk will describe research on largely decentralized, reactive, or swarm approaches that have been inspired by biological phenomena such as schools of fish, flocks of birds, ant colonies, and insect swarms. Next, the talk will cover approaches toward more complex organizational and cooperative mechanisms in team and coalition behaviors. Relevant team behavior may be derived from recent advances in understanding of the social and cooperative behaviors used for collaboration by tens of animals with higher-level cognitive abilities such as mammals and birds. Finally, the talk will briefly discuss challenges involved in user interaction with these types of systems and identify some key research challenges for the future.

Marc Steinberg is a program officer at the Office of Naval Research, where he manages basic and applied research programs in autonomy. At the basic research level, he focuses on highly multi-disciplinary autonomy research that cuts across fields such as control theory, computational intelligence, human factors engineering, and related fields such as biology/animal behavior/cognition, economics/game theory, cognitive science/psychology, and neuroscience. At the applied research level, he focuses on autonomous air systems and on multivehicle collaborative systems that cut across multiple domains. Prior to coming to ONR, he was a technical fellow and principle investigator on a wide range of basic and applied research projects within the naval laboratories. Research areas included robust, adaptive/nonlinear, and reconfigurable control, applications of computational intelligence to control, control allocation, prognostics and health management, control system optimization, and autonomous control for unmanned vehicles. He has also worked on a number of systems development programs to help transition and mature advanced technologies into real systems. He has authored or co-authored a wide range of papers on these subjects and has received numerous professional society awards for his technical contributions including the Dr. George Rappaport Best Paper Award (IEEE/AIAA National Aerospace Electronics Conference), the Derek George Astridge Award for Contribution to Aerospace Safety (British Institution of Mechanical Engineers), the 2nd Best Paper of Conference Award for the AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, and has twice-won Pathfinder Best Paper awards for AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America. He received the B.S. and M.S degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and has since received a second M.S. degree in Human Factors Engineering.

Audience: Graduate  Undergraduate  Faculty  Post-Docs  Alumni 

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