Stochastic Control of Nonholonomic Vehicles

April 03, 2015, Webb 1100

Dejan Milutinovic

UC Santa Cruz, Computer Engineering


While stochastic processes are useful models for drifts influencing the motion of nonholonomic vehicles, they can also be used to model a family of possible trajectories in single- or multi-vehicle systems. This results into nonlinear stochastic dynamical models of these systems. Since nonlinear control problems can be difficult enough in themselves, it seems that this approach adds yet another layer of complexity. Interestingly enough, although stochastic dynamical systems are complex, they have properties that allow us to solve control problems computationally easier than in the case of their deterministic counterparts. These solutions are attractive because computed controls anticipate stochastic process uncertainties and balance the intensity of control actions with respect to the intensity of stochastic processes. Moreover, they show the potential to solve control problems with many degrees of freedom. This talk reviews my research with examples, including single and multiple vehicles, micro-robots and cell biology applications, as well as scaled-down robot experiments for airport ramp area aircraft maneuvers.

Speaker's Bio

Dr.Dejan Milutinović is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Engineering, UC Santa Cruz. He earned Dipl.-Ing. (1995) and Magister’s (1999) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia and a doctoral degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2004) from Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal. From 1995 to 2000 he worked as a research engineer in the Automation and Control Division of Mihajlo Pupin Institute, Belgrade, Serbia, on various industry projects before continuing his graduate education. In 2006, Dr. Milutinović’s PhD thesis was voted for the first runner-up for the best PhD thesis of European Robotics in 2004 by EURON, the network of over 150 European robotics research groups. He won the National Research Council Award of the US academies in 2008. He held postdoctoral fellow positions in immunology for four years, followed by one year in the area of robotics at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and Duke University, NC. Dr. Milutinović pursues research in the area of modeling and control of stochastic dynamical systems applied to robotics. He co-organized the workshop “Redundancy in Robot Manipulators and Multi-robot Systems” at the 2011 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) and invited sessions “Stochastic Models, Control, and Algorithms in Robotics” at the 2012 Dynamical Systems Control Conference (DSCC) and the 2013 American Control Conference (ACC). At the 2013 DSCC, he held the tutorial session “Stochastic Processes, Kalman Filtering and Stochastic Control”. He is the first author of the research monograph “Cells and Robots”, Springer, 2007, and the co-editor of the volume “Redundancy in Robot Manipulators and Multi-Robot Systems”, Springer, 2013. For more details, see Personal Web Page.