Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Caltech Professor and TerraSwarm PI recipient of NIH BRAINS Grant

PASADENA NOW reports on NIH Grants awarded to 5 CalTech faculty for 3 projects aimed at identifying all cell types in the mouse brain, understanding how the brain heals itself after disease or injury, and understanding the neural circuits of behavior.

As one of the 5 Caltech researchers to receive grants from the National Institutes of Health's Brains Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, Professor Richard Murray, along with Professor Michael Dickinson, will concentrate their research on the NIH project ""A brain circuit program for understanding the sensorimotor basis of behavior".

Professor Murray, a co-principal investigator, has collaborated extensively with Dickinson on modeling and analyzing the biological systems of insect flight control.

“The collective expertise of these research teams spans the entire nervous system, from the sensory periphery to the motor periphery, and it includes experts in every experimental technique we require—molecular genetics, electrophysiology, optical imaging, biomechanics, quantitative behavioral analysis, control theory, and dynamic network theory,” says Murray. “We will exploit mathematical approaches—control theory and dynamic network theory in particular—that are well suited to model feedback and the flow of information through and among different processing stages in the brain.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Director of DCIST at University of Pennsylvania and TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar receives $27M grant from Army to develop robot teams

The United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has awarded Penn Engineering a five-year, $27 million grant to develop new methods of creating autonomous, intelligent and resilient teams of robots. The teams, comprised of multiple types of robots and sensors with varying abilities, are designed to assist humans in a broad range of operations in dynamically changing, harsh and challenging environments. These would include search and rescue of hostages, information gathering after terrorist attacks or natural disasters as well as humanitarian missions.
“We want to have teams of robots that know how to work together, but can figure out how to keep working even if some of their teammates crash or fail, if GPS signal is unavailable, or if cloud services are disrupted,” said Vijay Kumar, director of the DCIST program. “This means designing networks with loose, flexible connections that can change on the fly. That way, a single event can’t bring down the entire network. More importantly, we want them to learn to perform tasks they may have never performed and work alongside humans that they may never have worked with.”
The award is part of ARL's Distributed and Collaborative Intelligent Systems and Technology (DCIST) Collaborative Research Alliance, which Penn Engineering will lead.
“The technology we’re working will better allow humans to respond by projecting their intelligence without directly coming in harm’s way,” Kumar said.

See Electronics 360 and Georgia Tech NEWS CENTER for more information.

TerraSwarm Director and Professor at University of California, Berkeley honored at Festchrift Symposium

On October 13, 2017, Professor Edward A. Lee, Director of The TerraSwarm Research Center, was honored at a Festschrift Symposium. A "Festschrift" is a celebration of the scholarship and teaching of a specific individual, in this case, Edward A. Lee, the Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

The theme of the symposium was "Principles of Modeling" and was dedicated to Professor Lee's lifelong ideas and influences. Some of his closest collaborators and most prominent colleagues delivered talks at the event and have been invited to contribute a paper to the Festschrift*, which will be published by Springer in their Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series. The Festschrift articles will also be published in a post-proceedings.

*Festshrift is a term borrowed from German that could be translated as celebration publication (a 'feast-script').