With the advent of increasingly intelligent algorithms, robots and other cyber-physical systems are capable of planning and performing increasingly challenging and creative tasks. Safety, however, remains an essential requirement on many robotic behaviors. It is also a property that is hard or impossible to prove for virtually all intelligent algorithms of practical value.
Ariadne is a constructive, model-based paradigm that enables the safe operation of many robotic systems, even though the algorithms involved with the operation may not be verifiable. Ariadne, or "plan B" engineering, will be illustrated in various current operational contexts derived from Ariadne's own Greek mythology, railroad systems, air transportation, and others.
Eric Feron is professor of Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering at KAUST. During his 28-year career, he has held appointments with Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, France, the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace, Supaéro, France, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and the Office National d’Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales, France. Eric Feron leverages his knowledge of and contributions to Control Theory, Optimization Theory, and Computer Science to solve problems in Robotics, Drones, Air Transportation, Space Systems, and System Safety. Eric Feron is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.