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Gallagher, John C., Humphrey, Laura R., Matson, Eric.  2014.  Maintaining Model Consistency during In-Flight Adaptation in a Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle. Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications 2: Results from the 2nd International Conference on Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications. :517–530.

Machine-learning and soft computation methods are often used to adapt and modify control systems for robotic, aerospace, and other electromechanical systems. Most often, those who use such methods of self-adaptation focus on issues related to efficacy of the solutions produced and efficiency of the computational methods harnessed to create them. Considered far less often are the effects self-adaptation on Verification and Validation (V{&}V) of the systems in which they are used. Simply observing that a broken robotic or aerospace system seems to have been repaired is often not enough. Since self-adaptation can severely distort the relationships among system components, many V{&}V methods can quickly become useless. This paper will focus on a method by which one can interleave machine-learning and model consistency checks to not only improve system performance, but also to identify how those improvements modify the relationship between the system and its underlying model. Armed with such knowledge, it becomes possible to update the underlying model to maintain consistency between the real and modeled systems. We will focus on a specific application of this idea to maintaining model consistency for a simulated Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle that uses machine learning to compensate for wing damage incurred while in flight. We will demonstrate that our method can detect the nature of the wing damage and update the underlying vehicle model to better reflect the operation of the system after learning. The paper will conclude with a discussion of potential future applications, including generalizing the technique to other vehicles and automating the generation of model consistency-testing hypotheses.

Goppert, James, Gallagher, John C., Hwang, Inseok, Matson, Eric.  2014.  Model Checking of a Flapping-Wing Mirco-Air-Vehicle Trajectory Tracking Controller Subject to Disturbances. Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications 2: Results from the 2nd International Conference on Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications. :531–543.

This paper proposes a model checking method for a trajectory tracking controller for a flapping wing micro-air-vehicle (MAV) under disturbance. Due to the coupling of the continuous vehicle dynamics and the discrete guidance laws, the system is a hybrid system. Existing hybrid model checkers approximate the model by partitioning the continuous state space into invariant regions (flow pipes) through the use of reachable set computations. There are currently no efficient methods for accounting for unknown disturbances to the system. Neglecting disturbances for the trajectory tracking problem underestimates the reachable set and can fail to detect when the system would reach an unsafe condition. For linear systems, we propose the use of the H-infinity norm to augment the flow pipes and account for disturbances. We show that dynamic inversion can be coupled with our method to address the nonlinearities in the flapping-wing control system.

Greenwood, Garrison, Gallagher, John, Matson, Eric.  2015.  Cyber-Physical Systems: The Next Generation of Evolvable Hardware Research and Applications. Proceedings of the 18th Asia Pacific Symposium on Intelligent and Evolutionary Systems, Volume 1. :285–296.

Since the late 1990s the sales of processors targeted for embedded systems has exceeded sales for the PC market. Some embedded systems tightly link the computing resources to the physical world. Such systems are called cyber-physical systems. Autonomous cyber-physical systems often have safety-critical missions, which means they must be fault tolerant. Unfortunately fault recovery options are limited; adapting the physical system behavior may be the only viable option. Consequently, autonomous cyber-physical systems are a class of adaptive systems. The evolvable hardware field has developed a number of techniques that should prove to be useful for designing cyber-physical systems although work along those lines has only recently begun. In this paper we provide an overview of cyber-physical systems and then describe how two evolvable hardware techniques can be used to adapt the physical system behavior in real-time. The goal is to introduce cyber-physical systems to the evolvable hardware community and encourage those researchers to begin working in this emerging field.