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GALCIT Colloquium

Friday, April 8, 2016
3:00pm to 4:00pm
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Guggenheim 133 (Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall)
Adaptive Communication Networks and Cybersecurity for Heterogeneous Teams of Robots
Stephanie Gil, Research Scientist, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Much research has been done to show that multi-robot systems are poised for impact in many domains that are prominent for the future of robotics.  They will work together on factory floors to make manufacturing more efficient and cost effective, they will coordinate as our teammates during rescue missions in disaster zones, and they will be our eyes in places that we can't reach such as in space.  However, in order for multi-robot systems to reach the goals that we've set for them, they must be able to perform one particular task very reliably: information exchange.  Currently, wireless communication is largely unreliable in the field; and this unreliability is keeping multi-robot teams from reaching their full impact in the real world.  In this talk I will present a novel algorithm for sensing communication with higher accuracy and resolution than what was previously attainable for small agile robot platforms; using only a single off-the-shelf Wi-Fi antenna and local robot motion.  This results in the ability of using communication as a high-fidelity sensor.  Using this capability, I will derive new control algorithms that can autonomously establish and repair communication links to other robots in the network; even in unknown and unexplored environments.  I will show that the ability to use communication, not only to transmit messages but also as a physical signature for each transmitting agent, opens the door to many extensions and applications in multi-robot systems.  In addition to establishing adaptive ad-hoc networks, I will discuss an application to cybersecurity in multi-robot teams where each transmitted message by a given robot can be used to provably discern whether that robot is malicious or benign in the context of a Sybil Attack; where malicious robots can spoof or spawn false identities to gain a disproportionate influence in the network.  This talk will present several experimental results in hardware for heterogeneous multi-robot systems consisting of iRobot Create and AscTec Hummingbird platforms, in complex indoor environments.  I will conclude by presenting interesting avenues for future research at the intersection of communication and robotics including Wi-Fi enabled accurate indoor positioning systems, communication as a sensing medium for autonomous driving, and new communication channels for natural human-robot interaction.

For more information, please contact Vidyasagar by phone at 626-395-5760 or by email at [email protected].