Robust Navigation: From UAVs to Robot Swarms

Speaker: Grace Gao , UIUC

Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time: 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: 32-G 449 Patil/Kiva

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Contact: Nick Roy,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Robust Navigation: From UAVs to Robot Swarms

Robust navigation is critical and challenging for the ever-growing applications of robotics. Take Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as an example: the boom in applications of low-cost multi-copters requires UAVs to navigate in urban environments at low altitude. Traditionally, a UAV is equipped with a GPS receiver for outdoor flight. It may suffer from GPS signal blockage and multipath issues, making GPS-based positioning erroneous or unavailable. Moreover, GPS signals are vulnerable against attacks, such as jamming or spoofing. These attacks either disable GPS positioning, or more deliberately mislead the UAV with wrong positioning.

In this talk, we present our recent work on robust UAV navigation. We deeply fuse GPS information with Lidar, camera vision and inertial measurements on the raw signal level. In addition, we turn the unwanted multipath signals into an additional useful signal source. Instead of one GPS receiver, we use multiple receivers either on the same UAV platform or across a wide area to further improve navigation accuracy, reliability and resilience to attacks.

The second part of the talk will address our work on navigating a swarm of 100 robots, designed and built in our lab. We call them “Shinerbots,” because they are inspired by the schooling behaviors of Golden Shiner Fish. We will demonstrate the successful navigation and environment exploration of our Shinerbot swarm.

Grace Xingxin Gao is an assistant professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the GPS Laboratory at Stanford University.

Prof. Gao has won a number of awards, including RTCA William E. Jackson Award and Institute of Navigation Early Achievement Award. She was named one of 50 GNSS Leaders to Watch by the GPS World Magazine. She has won Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Awards 11 times at ION GNSS+ conferences. She received Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For her teaching, Prof. Gao has been on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students at University of Illinois multiple times. She won the College of Engineering Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015. She was chosen as American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Illinois Chapter’s Teacher of the Year in 2016.

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Created by Nick Roy Email at Monday, March 20, 2017 at 7:47 PM.