|15. August 2023
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Prof. Daniel Zelazo
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Tuesday 2023-08-15 4 p.m.
IST Seminar Room 2.255 - Pfaffenwaldring 9 - Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen
Formation control is one of the cornerstone problems in the multi-agent coordination community. The main task is to design distributed strategies for each agent such that the entire ensemble arranges into some desired spatial configuration. Gradient-based control strategies for solving the formation control problem are appealing because they lead to distributed protocols. More interesting is the connection between the potential functions used to define the control laws, and the combinatorial theory of rigidity. Rigidity theory studies the properties of structures and their resistance to deformation while maintaining shape and connectivity under specific conditions. A result of this connection identifies that for a network of n agents, at least 2n-3 communication links are required to solve the formation control problem. In this talk we explore solutions that can drastically reduce this number. Our approach leverages additional constraints that force the formation to a symmetric configuration. Utilizing recent results from rigidity theory for symmetric frameworks, we design a gradient-based control strategy that simultaneously drives the agents to the desired inter-agent distances and also a special position characterizing additional symmetry constraints on the graph. We propose also a variation of the formation control problem where the agents can perform symmetry-preserving coordinated motions.
Daniel Zelazo is an associate professor of aerospace engineering and director of the Philadelphia Flight Control Laboratory at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. He received the B.Sc. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1999 and 2001, respectively. In 2009, he completed his Ph.D. degree at the University of Washington, Seattle, in aeronautics and astronautics. From 2010 to 2012, he was a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at the Institute for Systems Theory and Automatic Control, University of Stuttgart, Germany. He is currently subject editor for the International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control and has served as an associate editor of IEEE Control Systems Letters. His research interests include topics related to multi-agent systems, graph theory, and control systems.