Monday, September 26, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Bjoern Hartmann Named Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley

TerraSwarm PI Bjoern Hartmann has been named as the director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley.  PI Bjoern Hartmann is an Assistant Professor in the EECS Department. He has served as the chief technology officer for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation since its inception.  His research on Human-Computer Interaction centers on novel design, prototyping, and implementation tools for the era of post-personal computing.

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation works to educate top innovators at the intersection of design and technology, and to provide students with opportunities for hands-on experience working in interdisciplinary teams to address real world problems. It is designed to provide a space for collaboration using multiple modes of engagement among students from different disciplines and levels of expertise.  Focusing on human-centered engineering, the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation facilitates an increased role for design in undergraduate engineering education at UC Berkeley.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab Develops Quadrotor with Onboard Navigation

As reported by IEEE SpectrumPopular Science, and Gizmodo TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a drone capable of on-board navigation. Traditionally when quadrotors perform complex maneuvers, such as flying through narrow openings, it requires an expensive complex external motion capture system that relays information to the drone. TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab has developed a 250 gram quadrotor drone that accomplishes these tasks using a single camera and on-board sensing and computing.  This creates an opportunity for real world applications by enabling the quadrotor to perform these complicated operations outside a controlled laboratory setting.  The quadrotor can move at speeds of up to 4.5 m/s, with acceleration of over 1.5g, and roll/ pitch angles of up to 90 degrees. While the current design still requires that the location of obstacles, relative the drone's starting position, be provided in advance, the research team is working to integrate the drones camera into real-time planning and control framework in the future.

Friday, September 9, 2016

TerraSwarm PIs Sanjit Seshia and Richard Murray Receive NSF "Frontier" Award

As reported in it's September, 6, 2016 Press Release, a research team including TerraSwarm PI Sanjit Seshia and TerraSwarm PI Richard Murray has received a National Science Foundation "Frontier" award for their project Verified Human Interfaces, Control, and Learning for Semi-Autonomous Systems (VeHICaL).  The five-year $4.6 million award will support multidisciplinary research into systems that operate together with human operators. The goal of the project is to enhance human collaboration and interaction with automation in the physical environment in a way that enhances safety, privacy and performance. The research team for the VeHICaL project includes Sanjit Seshia, University of California, Berkeley; Thomas Griffiths, University of California, Berkeley; Claire Tomlin, University of California, Berkeley; S. Shankar Sastry, University of California, Berkeley; Ruzena Bajcsy, University of California, Berkeley; Richard Murray, Caltech; and Cynthia Sturton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Possible applications for the VeHICaL project's research outcomes include drones and semi-autonomous cars.