IRIM Robotics Seminar–Nora Ayanian

University of Southern California's Nora Ayanian presents “Multirobot Coordination: From High-level Specification to Correct Execution” as part of the IRIM Robotics Seminar Series. The event will be held in the TSRB Banquet Hall from 12-1 p.m. and is open to the public.


Using a group of robots in place of a single complex robot to accomplish a task has many benefits, including simplified system repair, less down time, and lower cost. Combining heterogeneous groups of these multi-robot systems allows addressing multiple subtasks in parallel, reducing the time it takes to address many problems, such as search and rescue, reconnaissance, and mine detection. These missions demand different roles for robots, necessitating a strategy for coordinated autonomy while respecting any constraints the environment may impose. Synthesis of control policies for heterogeneous multirobot systems is particularly challenging because of inter-robot constraints such as communication maintenance and collision avoidance, the need to coordinate robots within groups, and the dynamics of individual robots.

I will present approaches to synthesizing feedback policies for navigating groups of robots in constrained environments. These approaches automatically and concurrently solve both the path planning and control synthesis problems, and are specified at a high level, for example, using an iPad interface to navigate a complex environment with a team of UAVs. I will also present some preliminary work on novel approaches to developing controllers for many types of multirobot tasks, by using crowdsourced multi-player game data. 


Nora Ayanian is a Gabilan Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of Southern California. Her research focuses on creating end-to-end solutions for coordinating teams of robots that start from truly high-level specifications and deliver code for individual robots in the team, such as using simple multitouch inputs to control a team of UAVs. Ayanian brings a unique approach to multirobot systems, creating unified solutions that address task assignment, path planning, and control that are broadly applicable across all aspects of multirobot systems and mobile sensor networks. Her solutions provide guarantees of convergence and safety on real robotic systems. She won the Best Student Paper Award at ICRA 2008 for her work on constrained multirobot control. In 2013 she was named one of IEEE Intelligent Systems “AI's 10 to watch” and in 2014 was named to NerdScholar’s “40 Under 40: Professors who Inspire.” In 2015, she was honored to be selected for the inaugural Mic 50,’s list of 50 influential young people. Ayanian is a co-founder and current co-chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Multi-Robot Systems, and co-produced the first ICRA trailer in 2015.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, December 2, 2015
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: TSRB Banquet Hall

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