Event Information

Special Seminar: Sandra Hirche, "High Performance Control for Robots in Extreme Environments"
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
11:00 a.m.
2460 AV Williams Bldg and on Zoom
For More Information:
Edna Walker

High Performance Control for Robots in Extreme Environments

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sandra Hirche
Technical University of Munich

Achieving a high level of autonomy of robots operating in extreme environments is challenging due to  uncertain and varying operating conditions. Our motivating example is an underwater robotic system for collecting litter in marine environments. The nonlinear hydrodynamics and unpredictable influences like currents pose significant challenges for precise control and safe operation. Recent progress in machine learning for control promises high performance in such uncertain conditions. Apart from the challenge of providing safety and performance guarantees for learning control, also the efficient implementation plays an important role.

In this talk we present results on online learning-based control with performance guarantees for nonlinear systems in uncertain environment on the example of an underwater robotic system. In particular we will focus on Gaussian Processes as the main tool. We introduce approaches to evaluate sample efficiency in Gaussian Process-based control and relate this to the control task. Physics-informed learning techniques to improve performance in terms of data efficiency as well touch upon distributed and networked learning algorithms are discussed.

About the speaker
Sandra Hirche holds the TUM Liesel Beckmann Distinguished Professorship and heads the Chair of Information-oriented Control in the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany (since 2013). She received the diploma engineer degree in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering in 2002 from the Technical University Berlin, Germany, and the Doctor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2005 from the Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany. From 2005-2007 she has been a PostDoc Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science at the Fujita Laboratory at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. Prior to her present appointment she has been an Associate Professor at TUM.

Her main research interests include learning, cooperative, and networked control with applications in human-robot interaction, multi-robot systems, and general robotics. She has published more than 200 papers in international journals, books and refereed conferences. She has received multiple awards such as the Rohde & Schwarz Award for her PhD thesis, the IFAC World Congress Best Poster Award in 2005 and – together with students –  Best Paper Awards of IEEE Worldhaptics and IFAC Conference of Manoeuvring and Control of Marine Craft in 2009 and the Outstanding Student Paper Award of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2018. In 2013 she has been awarded with an ERC Starting Grant on the “Control based on Human Models” and in 2019 with the ERC Consolidator Grant on “Safe data-driven control for human-centric systems”.

Sandra Hirche is Fellow of the IEEE and received the IEEE Control System Society Distinguished Member Award. She has served as IEEE Control System Society (CSS) Vice-President for Member Activities (2014/15), as Chair for Student Activities in the IEEE CSS (2009-2014), as Chair of the CSS Awards Subcommittee on “CDC Best Student-Paper Award” (2010-2014), and has been elected member of the Board of Governors of IEEE CSS (2010-2013). She has been Co-Chair of the IFAC TC 1.5 “Networked Control Systems” (2010-2017) and the Co-IPC for the 2020 IFAC World Congress.

Online information
Lecture Zink Link:

Meeting ID: 984 1837 7560 Passcode: 714272


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