Onboard resources continue to be stretched to maximize performance while accommodating more advanced algorithms. Computation, communication, and control resources must be carefully allocated to achieve mission objectives. Traditionally, this allocation is fixed and designed for worst-case anticipated conditions despite the dynamic environment in which it operates. To address this, I have developed a strategy for co-designing single and multi-agent controllers that co-regulate cyber and physical effectors corresponding to system needs and performance. Single-agent controllers dynamically adjust control task rate period alongside yaw, pitch, and roll of the multicopter in response to holistic system performance. Multi-agent controllers extend this to dynamically adjust communication task rates and position of each agent in response to convergence performance in a cooperative consensus controller. Results demonstrate this hybrid approach can achieve improved control performance, compared with event-triggered strategies, while dynamically allocating resources where traditional time-triggered systems cannot. As a result, with the same onboard resources, thie means more learning, more image processing, more planning, more autonomy while maintaining the same, or better, system performance.
Justin M. Bradley holds a B.S. in computer engineering (2005) and M.S. in electrical engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and M.S. (2012) and Ph.D. (2014) degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. He worked at Lawrence Livermore National Lab as a control software engineer on the Integrated Computer Control System for the National Ignition Facility. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a co-director of the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems (NIMBUS) lab. He conducts research in cyber-physical systems with an emphasis on decision and control, control software, and robot autonomy in aerospace systems.