Safety of Autonomous Systems: Challenges in Coordination, Consistency, and Integration
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Recent issues with the Boeing 737-MAX point to challenges in software engineering and the algorithms that the software must implement. However, the 737-MAX is a microcosm of several other problems that continue to arise in many applications of intelligent machines. There is a deep coupling between the underlying physics of a system, its various modes of actuation, and the many nested or parallel control systems that compose any complex robotic system. Many accidents – the speaker will claim all accidents – arise due to an inability to understand and then manage this coupling in a way that scales to complex systems. These issues become even more challenging with the rise and ubiquity of intelligent machines. This talk will begin by exploring these problems, with several relevant examples to the robotics community, including aviation, launch vehicle control systems, remotely operated spacecraft, and automated/autonomous vehicles. The talk will then present a general analytical framework for addressing these problems. Finally, the talk will conclude with several new directions in coordinated control of intelligent machines, with aeronautical, maritime, and ground transportation applications.
- IRIM Seminar Series