April 15, 2021 – 10:00 am, Plenary talk 1 for DCL Student Symposium 2021

Bluejeans link: https://primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/hehxxuty

Ming Cao

University of Groningen, Netherlands


In robot navigation tasks, such as UAV highway traffic monitoring, it is important for a mobile robot to follow a prescribed desired path. However, most of the existing path following navigation algorithms cannot guarantee global convergence to desired paths or enable following self-intersected desired paths due to the existence of singular points, where navigation algorithms return unreliable or even no solutions. In this talk, I show how to deal with this issue when using vector-field guided path-following (VF-PF). Conventional VF-PF algorithms generate a vector field of the same dimension as that of the space where the desired path lives. By contrast, we propose a novel method to transform self-intersected or simple closed desired paths to non-self-intersected and unbounded (precisely, homeomorphic to the real line) counterparts in a higher-dimensional space; correspondingly, we construct a singularity-free guiding vector field in a higher-dimensional space. I will also show the results of our outdoor experiments with a fixed-wing airplane in a windy environment to follow both 2D and 3D desired paths.


Dr. Ming Cao has since 2016 been a professor of networks and robotics with the Engineering and Technology Institute (ENTEG) at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where he started as an assistant professor in 2008. He received the Bachelor degree in 1999 and the Master degree in 2002 from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and the Ph.D. degree in 2007 from Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, all in Electrical Engineering. From September 2007 to August 2008, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. He worked as a research intern during the summer of 2006 with the Mathematical Sciences Department at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, NY, USA. He is the 2017 and inaugural recipient of the Manfred Thoma medal from the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and the 2016 recipient of the European Control Award sponsored by the European Control Association (EUCA). He is a Senior Editor for Systems and Control Letters, an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, and was an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems and IEEE Circuits and Systems Magazine. He is a member of the IFAC Conference Board and a vice chair of the IFAC Technical Committee on Large-Scale Complex Systems. His research interests include autonomous agents and multi-agent systems, complex networks and decision-making processes.