Visible to the public CPS: Medium: Learning for Control of Synthetic and Cyborg Insects in Uncertain Dynamic Environments

Project Details
Lead PI:Pieter Abbeel
Co-PI(s):Ronald Fearing
Michel Maharbiz
Performance Period:09/01/09 - 08/31/13
Institution(s):University of California-Berkeley
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Award Number:0931463
2238 Reads. Placed 58 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: The objective of this research is to enable operation of synthetic and cyborg insects in complicated environments, such as outdoors or in a collapsed building. As the mobile platforms and environment have significant uncertainty, learning and adaptation capabilities are critical. The approach consists of three main thrusts to enable the desired learning and adaptation: (i) Development of algorithms to efficiently learn optimal control policies and dynamics models through sharing the learning and adaptation between various instantiations of platforms and environments. (ii) Creation of control learning algorithms which can be run on low-cost, low-power mobile platforms. (iii) Development of algorithms for online improvement of policy performance in a minimal number of real-world trials. The proposed research will advance learning and adaptation capabilities of practical cyberphysical systems. The proposed approach will be generally applicable and lead to a new class of learning and adapting systems that are able to leverage shared properties between multiple tasks to significantly speed up learning and adaptation. Success in this research project will bring society closer to solving the grand challenge of teams of mobile, disposable, search and rescue robots which can robustly locomote through uncertain and novel environments, finding survivors in disaster situations, while removing risk from rescuers. This project will provide interdisciplinary training through research and classwork for undergraduate and graduate students in creating systems which intimately couple the cyber and physical aspects in robotic and living mobile platforms. Through the SUPERB summer program, under-represented students in engineering will experience research in learning and robotics.