Donald (Don) Sofge
Seminar: Swarm Robotics Research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Abstract: Swarm robotics, a subfield of both robotics and artificial swarm intelligence, focuses on the development of teams composed of large numbers of autonomous robotic agents. Like swarm intelligence, swarm robotics arises from the study of the phenomenology of biological systems in which large numbers of individuals collaborate in joint collective actions for the benefit of the community as a whole. However, whereas swarm intelligence often utilizes the means and mechanisms of bio-inspired swarms for numerical optimization, the goals of bio-inspired robot swarms are generally concerned with the use of large numbers of low-cost physically embodied agents, acting together in a real-world environment, to achieve a common purpose. This talk will discuss key methods and bio-inspired algorithms for use in programming and controlling robotic swarms, and potential applications of these swarms.
About the Speaker: Don Sofge is a Roboticist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory with 32 years of experience in Artificial Intelligence and Control Systems R&D. He leads the Distributed Autonomous Systems Group in the Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence, where he develops nature-inspired computing paradigms to challenging problems in sensing, artificial intelligence and control of autonomous robotic systems. His research focuses on control of autonomous teams or swarms of robotic systems for Navy-relevant missions. He has served as PI on dozens of federally funded R&D programs and has more than 170 peer-reviewed publications on autonomy, intelligent control, quantum computing, and related topics. He has served as an advisor on autonomous systems to DARPA, ONR, OSD, ARL, NSF, and NASA, as well as US representative on international TTCP and NATO technical panels on autonomous systems, and has participated as a member of the National Science and Technology Council Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program Interagency Working Groups on Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, and the AI R&D Ad Hoc Group. Don also occasionally serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Maryland where teaches graduate-level courses in Robotics.
Host: Zongli Lin, Ferman W. Perry Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Programs, Electrical and Computer Engineering