news    views    podcast    learn    |    about    contribute     republish    

Eric Feron

Eric Feron is Dutton-Ducoffe Professor of Aerospace Software Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, where he co-directs the Decision and Control Laboratory. Feron holds his BS, MS and PhD degrees from Ecole Polytechnique, France, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France and Stanford University, USA. He has been recognized for his work on autonomous aerobatic helicopter flight, human drowsiness and its impact on driver safety, environmentally friendly airport operations and multi-vehicle robotics.

Figure 8: Example of a 15 robot swarm of GRITSBots on the arena surface of the second instantiation of the Robotarium.

When developing algorithms for coordinating the behaviors of swarms of robots it is crucial that the algorithms are actually deployed and tested on real hardware platforms. Unfortunately, building and maintaining a swarm robotics testbed is a resource-intense proposition and, as a consequence, resources rather than ideas tend to be the bottleneck and swarm robotics research does not progress at the rate it could. The Robotarium sets out to remedy this problem by providing remote access to a large team of robots, where users can upload their code, run the experiments remotely, and get the scientific data back. This article describes the structure and architecture of the Robotarium as well as discusses what constitutes an effective, remotely accessible research platform.

This paper won the IEEE Robotics & Automation Best Multi-Robot Systems Award at ICRA 2017.