Florida Atlantic University Receives $1 Million NSF Grant for First Networked-AI Testbed

Boca Raton, Florida,, November 10, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A new generation of networked, interacting robots developed by researchers at the Center for Connected Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence (ca-ai.fau.edu) at Florida Atlantic University‘s College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute for Sensory and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (SENSE) is related to “teamwork”. The center received a $ 1 million a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the country’s first-of-its-kind test platform that connects robots using extremely high-speed millimeter-wave connections. Until recently, these high-frequency radio waves (30 to 300 GHz) were mainly used for remote monitoring, radio astronomy, car radar and security screening.

Traditionally, the sensor technology used for robotic systems includes cameras, GPS and LiDAR. In terms of communication, the individual robots are conventionally connected to a central controller via Wi-Fi or 5G. The FAU research team will equip a team of robots with individually programmable millimeter-wave modems to create their own ultra-high-speed autonomous network and then train them to perform tasks as a team. The autonomous network of mm waves will have dual use in communication and sensors between the robot. Researchers from the center will develop new algorithms for multi-agent training, implemented through network robots, as well as protocols for networking of robotic teams.

“Just like humans, autonomous robots need to communicate with each other to learn together and perform a team task or mission such as search and rescue,” he said. Dimitris Pados, Dr., Principal Investigator, Distinguished Scientific Professor Schmid, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, associate of FAU I-SENSE and director of the Center for Connected Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence, which has already collected more than $ 9 million in federal funding since its official opening in March. “Our five test robots will be able to communicate at ultra-high gigabit speeds per second, forming and directing” rays “at each other, which will also allow them to see through objects if necessary. They will see, so to speak, what other robots feel in real time, resulting in five times more eyes thanks to the almost instantaneous exchange of large amounts of data. “

The millimeter-wave robotic AI training and teaming platform consists of five terrestrial mobile robotic modules, all equipped with built-in mmWave programmable transceivers, LiDAR and GPU (graphics processing unit). Two of the mobile robotic modules are equipped with a robotic arm. Additional core components of the platform include two programmable fixed-point mmWave transceivers and a base station GPU tower.

“By recreating the mobility and dynamics seen in real-world scenarios, our project will be the first to allow in-depth experimental evaluation of multifunctional mmWave radios and connected artificial intelligence systems, and the opportunity to strengthen ongoing partnerships between mmWave network and academic and robotic industrial communities that are leaders in the development of software-defined mmWave and subTHz radios and robotic platforms, ”he said. George Slivanitis, Ph.D., co-PI, Research Assistant, Department of Electrical and Computer Science, and FAU I-SENSE Fellow, working with Pados and co-PIs Xiangnan Zhong, PhD, assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Jason Holstrom, PhD, Director of FAU I-SENSE and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.

As data is the fuel for learning and working with AI systems, researchers from the Center for Connected Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence also evaluate the quality of the data. To train the robots, they will use selected datasets developed as part of their ACE project (Autonomous Tensor Data Conformity Assessment through a New Analysis of the Main Components of the L1-Norm), funded by the US Air Force Research Office. , which aims to assess data quality and suppress erroneous records. They are also working to stop saboteurs’ attempts to inject the wrong data to mislead autonomous systems by monitoring real-time operational data.

“Whenever you have defective robots or a defective autonomous system, the data is usually at the root of the problem,” Pados said. “For example, a somewhat defective sensor that produces the wrong measurement at the wrong time may be enough to cause a catastrophic event. We are developing new theories and algorithms to identify values ​​in data that do not match or make sense when they are interconnected, to serve as a warning system to notify people that something is wrong. We do this both for the training phase of artificial intelligence systems and for the work phase afterwards. ”

The new connected robotic platform offers a unique opportunity to explore and learn at the exciting crossroads of mmWave wireless, robotics and multi-agent AI. Researchers from all American universities will be offered remote access to the FAU platform for experimentation.

“This new platform, developed by our team at the Center for Connected Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence, will accelerate research in the field of multi-agent AI and mmWave networks and communications,” they said. Star of Batalam, PhD, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This will allow for rapid testing and repeatable comparable assessment of joint operations with artificial intelligence and distributed observation, positioning, time, navigation and communication, developed by researchers in different institutions.

– FAU –

For the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science:
FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science is one of the three fastest growing engineering colleges in the nation (2022 US News and World Report) and is internationally recognized for cutting-edge research and education in computer science and artificial intelligence (AI), computer science. engineering, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, civil, environmental and geomatic engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering. Research conducted by the faculty and their teams exposes students to technological innovations that advance the current state of the art disciplines. The college’s research efforts are supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Education (DOEd), Floridaand industry. The FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science offers degrees with a modern twist, which bring specializations in areas of national priority such as AI, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, transport management and supply chain and data science. The new degree programs include a master ‘s degree in AI (first in Florida), Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Data and Analysis, and the new Professional Master of Science and Doctor of Science. in computer science for working professionals. For more information about the college, please visit eng.fau.edu.

concerning Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened in 1964 as the fifth state university in Florida. Today, the university serves more than 30,000 students and students on six campuses located in the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the university has doubled its research spending and outpaced its peers in terms of student achievement. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model in which traditional gaps in achievement disappear. The FAU is rated as a Spanish-speaking institution, ranked as the best public university by the US News & World Report, and a highly research institution by the Carnegie Endowment for the Advancement of Education. For more information visit www.fau.edu.

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SOURCE Florida Atlantic University

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