news    views    podcast    learn    |    about    contribute     republish    

Aaron Becker is a postdoctoral research scholar in the Multi-Robot Systems Lab at Rice University and is fascinated by large populations of simple robots. His focus is on techniques for handling uncertainty in robotics. Applications include manipulating robotic swarms, directing self-assembled microbots, contactless manipulation, robotic coverage, and state-estimation for novel prosthesis.

During the 2013-2014 academic year Aaron will be engaged in postdoctoral research on MRI-powered robotics in the Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering Lab with Pierre Dupont in a joint appointment with Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital.

B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering 2005 at Iowa State University, M.S. 2008 and PhD 2012 in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Ensemble control of robotic systems.

by   -   September 9, 2013

What can you do with 12 RC robots all slaved to the same joystick remote control?  Common sense might say you need 11 more remotes, but our video demonstrates you can steer all the robots to any desired final position by using an algorithm we designed. The algorithm exploits rotational noise: each time the joystick tells the robots to turn, every robot turns a slightly different amount due to random wheel slip. We use these differences to slowly push the robots to goal positions. The current algorithm is slow, so we’re designing new algorithms that are 200x faster. You can help by playing our online game: