Small and Adrift with Self-Control: Using the Environment to Improve Autonomy

M. Ani Hsieh, Hadi Hajieghrary, Dhanushka Kularatne, Christoffer R. Heckman, Eric Forgoston, Ira B. Schwartz, Philip A. Yecko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present information theoretic search strategies for single and multi-robot teams to localize the source of a chemical spill in turbulent flows. In this work, robots rely on sporadic and intermittent sensor readings to synthesize information maximizing exploration strategies. Using the spatial distribution of the sensor readings, robots construct a belief distribution for the source location. Motion strategies are designed to maximize the change in entropy of this belief distribution. In addition, we show how a geophysical description of the environmental dynamics can improve existing motion control strategies. This is especially true when process and vehicle dynamics are intricately coupled with the environmental dynamics. We conclude with a summary of current efforts in robotic tracking of coherent structures in geophysical flows. Since coherent structures enables the prediction and estimation of the environmental dynamics, we discuss how this geophysical perspective can result in improved control strategies for autonomous systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)2511-1256
ISSN (Electronic)2511-1264


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