Nikhil Chopra receives NSF grant for wireless sensor and robotic networks

Assistant Professor Nikhil Chopra (ME/ISR) is the principal investigator for a three-year, $300K National Science Foundation grant, “Fundamental Advances in Control of Wireless Sensor and Robotic Networks”.

Chopra will investigate fundamental issues in network control and distributed coordination of wireless sensor and robotic networks. This research has the potential to lead to a transformational change in understanding the mechanisms for delay instability and spatio-temporal synchronization in cyber-physical systems. Such understanding will help in solving delay-instability, synchronization, and coordination problems in wireless sensor and robotic networks without sacrificing the performance, scalability, or modularity of the system.

Chopra will build a framework for designing control algorithms for robotic systems with input/output communication delays and a communication management module for addressing medium access delays and data losses. He also will develop synchronization algorithms for real-time coordination between robotic systems, and a scheme for ensuring clock synchronization.

The study of these cyber-physical systems is important as they find wide applicability in applications areas including environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and health care. Chopra will exploit the intrinsic properties of these systems to ensure stability, high performance, scalability and modularity despite deleterious network effects. The project could make a broad impact on the wireless sensor and actuator networks.

Published September 28, 2009