Prof. Tsiotras: Recent Advances in Optimal Motion Planning for Autonomous Systems

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in-person: B19, Hall 1; virtual participation: Zoom

Recent Advances in Optimal Motion Planning for Autonomous Systems


Computing efficiently a feasible or optimal trajectory between two given states lies at the core of all autonomous systems. Traditional techniques, based on optimal control and trajectory optimization, or utilizing suitable discrete abstractions of the problem, have been used for many years with great success to solve a variety of problems, especially in aerospace applications. However, most of these methods are best suited for off-line computations and their usefulness diminishes very quickly when one wants to plan trajectories in high-dimensional state or configuration spaces, especially in the presence of several state constraints and/or obstacles and under tight time constraints. In this talk I will discuss our recent work on developing asymptotically optimal motion planning algorithms using sampling-based methods that expedite convergence using ideas from dynamic programming, thus bridging the gap between these recent methods and the more traditional methods based on optimal control. In addition, I will present intelligent sampling techniques to minimize exploration, along with extensions to joint semantic/geometric planning involving single or multiple agents.


Dr. Panagiotis Tsiotras is the David and Andrew Lewis Endowed Chair Professor at the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. At Georgia Tech, he is also the Director of the Dynamics and Control Systems Laboratory and an Associate Director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM). His current research interests are in optimal and nonlinear control and their connections with AI and applications to aerial, space and ground vehicle autonomy. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Mathematics. He is currently the Chief Editor of the Frontiers of Robotics and AI in the area of Space Robotics and an Associate Editor for Dynamical Games and Applications. Previously, he served at the Editorial Boards of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, the IEEE Transactions of Automatic Control, the IEEE Control Systems Magazine, and the Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems. He is the recipient of the NSF Career Award, the IEEE Excellence Award in Aerospace Control, the Outstanding Aerospace Engineer award from Purdue, and the Sigma Xi Research Excellence Award. He is a Fellow of AIAA, IEEE, and AAS.

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