Visible to the public CPS: TTP Option: Synergy: Safe and Secure Open-Access Multi-Robot SystemsConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details
Lead PI:Magnus Egerstedt
Co-PI(s):Raheem Beyah
Eric Feron
Aaron Ames
Performance Period:10/01/15 - 09/30/19
Institution(s):Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Project URL:
Award Number:1544332
973 Reads. Placed 205 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: This proposal addresses the safety and security issues that arise when giving users remote-access to a multi-robot research test-bed, where mobile robots can coordinate their behaviors in a collaborative manner. Through a public interface, users are able to schedule, and subsequently upload, their own code and run their experiments, while being provided with the scientific data produced through the experiment. Such an open-access framework has the potential to significantly lowering the barriers to entry in robotics research and education, yet is inherently vulnerable from a safety and security point-of-view. This proposal aims at the development and definition of appropriate cyber-physical security notions, formal verification algorithms, and safety-critical, real-time control code for teams of mobile robots that will ultimately make such a system both useful and safe. On top of the research developments, this proposal contains a Transition to Practice component that will allow the system to become a highly usable, shared test-bed; one that can serve as a model for other open, remote-access test-beds. Safety is of central importance to the successful realization of any remote-access test-bed and failure to enforce safety could result in injury in local operators and damaged equipment. To guarantee safe operation, while allowing users to test algorithms remotely, new science is required in the domain of safety-critical control. To address this need, the proposed work follows a three-pronged approach, namely (1) development and use of novel types of barrier certificates in the context of minimally invasive, optimization-based controllers with provable safety properties, (2) formal methods for verification of safety-critical control code for networked cyber-physical systems, and (3) novel methods for protecting against machine-to-machine cyber attacks. By bringing together ideas from multi-agent robotics, safety-critical control, formal verification, and cyber-security, this project will result in a unified and coherent approach to security in networked cyber-physical systems. The potential impact of the resulting open-access multi-robot test-bed is significant along the research, education, and general outreach dimensions in that a future generation of roboticists at institutions across the country will have open and remote access to a world-class research facility, and educators at all levels will be able to run experiments on actual robots.