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COVEN Lab - Home


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COVEN Lab - Home

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COVEN stands for COoperative VEhicle Networks (click here to see the original meaning of coven Ė 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.


We welcome PhD/MS students, visiting PhD students and scholars, and outstanding undergraduate students to join our group working on research projects in cooperative control, networked cyber-physical systems, and autonomous vehicles. Contact Dr. Wei Ren if interested.

June 2009
Dr. Wei Ren was appointed as an Associate Editor for Systems & Control Letters, one of the leading journals in the field of systems and control.

April 2009
Dr. Wei Renís paper published in Vol. 1, Issue 2 (March 2007) was among the top 10 most downloaded IET Control Theory & Applications papers by users of the IEEE Xplore database in 2008 (receiving 226 full text downloads in 2008).

April 2009
Yongcan Cao, a PhD student in the COVEN Lab, received a USU Graduate Student Senate Enhancement Award.

February 2009
Yongcan Cao, a PhD student in the COVEN Lab, received the Outstanding Research Assistant Award of the ECE Department.

August 2008
Congratulations to Larry Ballard, who graduated with an M.S. degree in electrical engineering.

August 2008
Dr. Wei Ren received an NSF grant on cyber-physical systems. More

July 2008
Dr. Wei Ren co-organized a tutorial workshop on cooperative control in the 17th IFAC World Congress.

January 2008
Dr. Wei Ren received an NSF CAREER Award. More

December 2007
Congratulations to Nathan Sorensen, who graduated with an M.S. degree in electrical engineering.

November 2007
Dr. Wei Ren published a book (co-authored by Dr. Randal Beard) on distributed consensus in multi-vehicle cooperative control. More

February 2007
Essential Science Indicators identified a paper by Dr. Wei Ren (co-authored by Dr. Randal Beard) to be one of the most cited recent papers in the field of engineering. More


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