Improved Collaboration of Intelligent Autonomous Systems

Faculty Highlight, Research

Dr. Leonardo Bobadilla is leading an Office of Naval Research (ONR) project to improve the collaboration of intelligent underwater autonomous systems to address complex challenges the Navy faces in the future. Intelligent Autonomous Systems, including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) hold promise to form the backbone of future missions for the Navy. Before they can be most efficiently employed, researchers will need to overcome challenges such as how intelligent autonomous systems (IAS) can solve tasks under extremely low-bandwidth conditions, and how IAS teams plan missions using different communication modalities with rich geometry and water channel communications models. Dr. Bobadilla’s research will address these challenges, as well as the problem of how to reduce the time and risks in IAS team deployments in coastal environments.

Dr. Bobadilla plans to address these questions through three research thrusts. He will solve the autonomy tasks with improvements in sublinear communications, then transition to a novel multi-robot control approach based on emerging communication modalities. Finally, he will develop a “Sim-to-Scale-to-Real for Heterogeneous IAS Networks” by developing an experimental study case. Expected outcomes include new formulations and algorithms for communication, as well as new implementation strategies. His work will include the development of new software packages, models, hardware prototypes, experimental workflows, and demonstrations.

Dr. Bobadilla is the sole Principal Investigator on this project which is titled, “End-to-End Scalable Collaboration for Autonomous Systems with Highly Disadvantaged Communications.” Dr. Bobadilla will receive $450,000 over the next three years to conduct research on this project.