Sensor Localization Paper Accepted to ACC 2016

“Sensor Localization Using Hybrid RF/Optical Wireless Communications for an Aerial Data Mule” was accepted to ACC 2016. ACC stands for the American Control Conference which will be held in Boston, MA, July 6-8. Congratulations to Patricio, Brian, and Rafael!

         Abstract—In this paper, we consider the problem of pairing a ground sensor with an aerial vehicle, both equipped with a hybrid communication system – radio frequency for low bandwidth data transmission and optical for high bit rate. These communication technologies are complementary and by coordinating them, it is possible to mitigate each other’s weaknesses. A challenging problem is positioning the flying robot within optical communication range, especially when the distance is large and the sensor location is unknown. In this work, we propose a solution to the problem of autonomously localizing the sensor node relative to the aerial vehicle. We take advantage of the hybrid communication scheme by developing a control strategy that uses the radio signal to guide the aerial platform to the sensor node. Once the optical-based signal strength is over a desired threshold the robot hovers within optical range. The control strategy is demonstrated through simulations that incorporate a realistic model for the hybrid communication link.

Corbin off to D.C.

Corbin Wilhelmi presented his MS project Wednesday Feb. 24th. This project applied the idea of quantum mechanics to robotic movement. In a sense, he created a program where the robot senses its surroundings and moves around obstacles like water does around rocks in a stream. Corbin will now be heading off to Washington DC to work in Naval Research.