Swarms: Beyond Solo UAVs, Flying Teams of Robots

Vijay Kumar
Professor, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania and Assistant Director, Robotics, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Videography by Nerine & Robert Clemenzi, Edited by Nerine Clemenzi
Copyright © Philosophical Society of Washington.  All rights reserved.


Autonomous micro aerial robots can operate in three-dimensional unstructured environments and offer many opportunities for environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and first response. I will describe the challenges in developing small, agile robots and our recent work in the areas of (a) control and planning, (b) state estimation and mapping, and (c) coordinating large teams of robots, with applications to cooperative manipulation and transport, construction, and exploration and mapping.

About the Author:

Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar is UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania and he serves as Assistant Director for Robotics and Cyber Physical Systems in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (currently on sabbatical).  His research is on robotics, specifically micro aerial vehicles and multi-robot systems.

  He earned a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MS and PhD from Ohio State University.  He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987.  He has served as Deputy Dean for both Research and Education of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Director of the multidisciplinary robotics and perception GRASP Laboratory.  He served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and the Springer Tract in Advanced Robotics (STAR).  He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.  He received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching,  the Freudenstein Award, the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Service Award and a World Technology Network Award, among others.  Vijay has published over 100 peer reviewed scientific publications, several books and numerous book chapters, and has been featured in numerous articles and film clips on robotics in popular media.  There are numerous links to YouTube videos of his work on his laboratory website. 

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