CDS Lecture Series

Friday, February 22, 2002, 2:00 p.m.

Jim Ostrowski
General Robotics Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
University of Pennsylvania

Control of Underactuated Mechanical Systems, or, How to Parallel Park a 10 m Blimp

In this talk, I will focus on several aspects of control for underactuated mechanical systems, with emphasis on the specific application of control and motion planning for autonomous airships. I will introduce some important, recently developed tools for mechanical control systems, which rely on affine connections and group symmetries. Emphasis will be given to ways in which these new methods parallel previous concepts in nonlinear control for kinematic systems, and how to generalize previous results to dynamic systems. Experimental results from an indoor blimp will be presented. Finally, I'll conclude with a brief discussion as to how these tools can be formulated within a higher-level motion planning strategy. Using principles from hybrid systems theory, abstractions of lower level dynamics are used to develop simpler control laws at higher levels of planning.

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