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COVEN stands for COoperative VEhicle Networks (click here to see the original meaning of coven a group of witches). COVEN Lab was motivated by the increasing demand for networked autonomous vehicles.  We work on both theory and applications in distributed coordination and control of multiple autonomous vehicles.

Our research objectives include:

1.     Cooperative control algorithm design;

2.     Networked cyber-physical systems;

3.     Autonomous vehicles;

4.     Distributed sensor networks;

5.     Object-oriented multiple ground robot and UAV experiments.

Increased computational resources enable the development of autonomous vehicles that have the capability to significantly improve the operational effectiveness of both civilian and military applications. While autonomous vehicles that perform solo missions can yield significant benefits, greater efficiency and operational capability can be realized from teams of autonomous vehicles operating in a coordinated fashion. Potential applications for multi-vehicle systems include space-based interferometers, future combat systems, surveillance and reconnaissance, hazardous material handling, and distributed reconfigurable sensor networks. To enable these applications, a variety of cooperative control capabilities need to be developed. These capabilities include formation control, rendezvous, attitude alignment, flocking, foraging, task and role assignment, payload transport, air traffic control, cooperative search, etc. For all of these applications, communication bandwidth and power constraints will preclude centralized command and control. Our lab is particularly interested in distributed multi-vehicle cooperative control, where collective group behavior is achieved through local interaction.

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