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Karydis receives an NSF Award on Extracting Dynamics from Limited Data for Modeling and Control of Unmanned Autonomous Systems

This project investigates the mechanisms that uncertainties in robot-environment interactions affect (small) robot behavior. Small robot motion is more stochastic since errors at the actuators and uncertain interactions with the environment amplify errors in pose. The goal is to introduce a platform-agnostic, data-driven modeling framework to quantify uncertainty and subsequently exploit it via control for reliable robot navigation under uncertainty. The specific aims are to: 1) extract dynamics using limited data for modeling uncertain systems; 2) synthesize uncertainty-aware model-based controllers based on derived reduced-order models; and 3) test and validate theoretical analysis and derived models and control algorithms with aerial, ground, and marine robots. Spectral methods are used to extract spatio-temporal dynamics and to quantify uncertainty. A model-reference adaptive control scheme utilizes extracted dynamics and uncertainty for reliable robot navigation. While the basic principles developed in this research are grounded on small robots, this project's findings may generalize to larger robots with limited sensing and noisy actuation.  For more information see: and