Robotics Seminar by Magnus Egerstedt on “Persistent Environmental Monitoring: Robots that Seemingly Do Nothing Most of the Time”

As part of the ML@GT/IRIM Seminar Series, here is the next very interesting talk by our very own, Magnus Egerstedt, Executive Director of IRIM. (Link)

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2016
Speaker: Magnus Egerstedt (Executive Director, IRIM)

Title: “Persistent Environmental Monitoring: Robots that Seemingly Do Nothing Most of the Time”

Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building • Rooms 1116-1118
Time: 12:00–1:00 p.m.


By now, we have a fairly good understanding of how to design coordinated control strategies for making teams of mobile robots achieve geometric objectives in a distributed manner, such as assembling shapes or covering areas. But, the mapping from high-level tasks to these geometric objectives is not at all straightforward. In this talk, we investigate this topic in the context of persistent autonomy, i.e., we consider teams of robots, deployed in an environment over a sustained period of time, that can be recruited to perform a number of different tasks in a distributed and safe, yet provably correct manner. This development will involve the composition of multiple barrier certificates for encoding the tasks and safety constraints, as well as a detour into ecology as a way of understanding how persistent environmental monitoring can be achieved by studying animals with low-energy lifestyles, such as the three-toed sloth.


Magnus Egerstedt is the executive director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech and a professor and Julian T. Hightower Chair in Systems and Controls in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He holds adjunct appointments in the School of Interactive Computing, the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, and the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. He also serves as director of the Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (GRITS Lab).

Egerstedt conducts research in the areas of control theory and robotics, focusing on control and coordination of complex networks, such as multi-robot systems, mobile sensor networks, and cyber-physical systems. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Stockholm University and master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering physics and applied mathematics, respectively, from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. After completing his Ph.D., Egerstedt was a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard University.

He is the deputy editor-in-chief for IEEE Transactions on Network Control Systems and the past editor for electronic publications for the IEEE Control Systems Society. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the IEEE and a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He also received the HKN Outstanding Teacher Award, the Alumni of the Year Award from the Royal Institute of Technology and the Ragazzini Award from the American Automatic Control Council.

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