Gianni A. Di Caro

Gianni A. Di Caro
Carnegie Mellon University | CMU · Computer Science Department

PhD

About

220
Publications
45,967
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16,231
Citations
Introduction

Publications

Publications (220)
Chapter
We present a novel approach for informative path planning in multi-robot systems for mapping under time and communication constraints. The approach is based on modeling the mapping task as a regression problem using Gaussian processes (GP) and adaptively directing the robots towards the regions that are most informative for GP learning. The methodo...
Article
Full-text available
This work is about mission planning in teams of mobile autonomous agents. We consider tasks that are spatially distributed, non atomic, and provide an utility for integral and also partial task completion. Agents are heterogeneous, therefore showing different efficiency when dealing with the tasks. The goal is to define a system-level plan that ass...
Article
Swarm Intelligence (SI) is a popular multi-agent framework that has been originally inspired by swarm behaviors observed in natural systems, such as ant and bee colonies. In a system designed after swarm intelligence, each agent acts autonomously, reacts on dynamic inputs, and, implicitly or explicitly, works collaboratively with other swarm member...
Chapter
In environments featuring hazards (e.g., debris, holes in the ground), robot navigation can be challenging. Robot’s sensors alone might be not able to guarantee timely detection of the threats. In such situations, the presence of nearby humans can be exploited to support safe robot navigation. The human can proactively provide advisory information...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperative Multi-Robot Observation of Multiple Moving Targets (CMOMMT) denotes a class of problems in which a set of autonomous mobile robots equipped with limited-range sensors keep under observation a (possibly larger) set of mobile targets. In the existing literature, it is common to let the robots cooperatively plan their motion in order to ma...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We propose a model of artificial emotions for adaptation and implicit coordination in multi-robot systems. Artificial emotions play two roles, which resemble their function in animals and humans: modulators of individual behavior, and means of communication for social coordination. Emotions are modeled as compressed representations of the internal...
Article
Thymio is a small, inexpensive, mass-produced mobile robot with widespread use in primary and secondary education. In order to make it more versatile and effectively use it in later educational stages, including university levels, we have expanded Thymio's capabilities by adding off-the-shelf hardware and open software components. The resulting rob...
Article
Full-text available
Network deployment in wireless networks implies the distribution of the communication nodes to improve some key operational aspects, such as energy saving, coverage, connectivity, or simply reducing the network cost. Most node placement approaches are focused on static scenarios like WSNs, where the topology of the network does not vary over time....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of coordination of mobile multi-robot/agent networked teams, we present an integrated model that simultaneously addresses two problems arising in multi-robot missions: (i) task allocation and task scheduling; and (ii) communication provisioning in the multi-hop mobile ad hoc network built by the team. The integrated model is based on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A complete prototype for multi-modal interaction between humans and multi-robot systems is described. The application focus is on search and rescue missions. From the human-side, speech and arm and hand gestures are combined to select, localize, and communicate task requests and spatial information to one or more robots in the field. From the robot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work addresses the problem of deploying and controlling mobile relays in robotic networks. We consider a general data collection scenario in which a group of robots stream data towards one or more base stations. The robots form a wireless mobile ad hoc network relaying data towards the base stations in a multi-hop fashion. Additional robots ar...
Poster
Full-text available
Relay node (RN) placement is a challenging problem, specially in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) environments where the locations of the nodes are continuously changing. In this context we propose here a novel, modular and adaptable RN placement solution based on the joint maximization of the network connectivity and throughput. For that, we use a...
Chapter
Relay node (RN) placement is a challenging problem, specially in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) environments where the locations of the nodes are continuously changing. In this context we propose here a novel, modular and adaptable RN placement solution based on the joint maximization of the network connectivity and throughput. For that, we use a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of coordination and planning in collaborative multi-robot/agent systems, we consider a general reference problem that includes tasks that are spatially localized and have an associated service time, and accounts for the use of a heterogeneous team, in which different robots may have a different performance on the same task. A mixed i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The mission time for a large multi-agent team including multiple robots, as well as human agents or even animals, can easily extend over long time spans, from hours to weeks. For instance, this can be the case of post-disaster missions. Since, for a number of different reasons, not all the agents can be operational 24h/24h, it is necessary to organ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of the European-funded Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme, the project ALMA (Ageing without Los- ing Mobility and Autonomy) focuses on technologies for supporting the autonomous mobility, navigation, and orientation of the elder, and, more in general, of the person with reduced mobility. ALMA has developed modules for ambi...
Article
Full-text available
Human-swarm interaction (HSI) is a developing field of research in which the problem of gesture-based control has been attracting an increasing attention, being at the same time a natural form of interaction and an effective way to point and select individual or groups of robots in the swarm. Gesture-based interaction usually requires vision-based...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperative Multi-Robot Observation of Multiple Moving Targets (CMOMMT) denotes a class of problems in which a set of autonomous mobile robots equipped with limited-range sensors are used to keep under observation a (possibly larger) set of mobile targets. Robots cooperatively plan their motion in order to maximize the time during which each target...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Small-footprint mobile ground robots, such as the popular Turtlebot and Kobuki platforms, are by necessity equipped with sensors which lie close to the ground. Reliably detecting and tracking people from this viewpoint is a challenging problem, whose solution is a key requirement for many applications involving sharing of common spaces and close hu...
Conference Paper
Once a multi-robot system is implemented on real hardware and tested in the real world, analyzing its evolution and debugging unexpected behaviors is often a very difficult task. We present a tool for aiding this activity, by visualizing an Augmented Reality overlay on a live video feed acquired by a fixed camera overlooking the robot environment....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We consider the problem of the joint mission planning in teams of heterogeneous physical agents. The type of missions that we consider are composed of spatially distributed tasks that need to be selected and assigned to the agents for dealing with them. A plan consists of a set of directives specifying who does what, where, when, and for how long....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a machine vision based approach for human operators to select individual and groups of autonomous robots from a swarm of UAVs. The angular distance between the robots and the human is estimated using measures of the detected human face, which aids to determine human and multi-UAV localization and positioning. In turn, this is ex...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract We introduce zePPeLIN, a distributed system designed to address the challenges of path planning in large, cluttered, dynamic environments. The objective is to define a sequence of instructions to precisely move a ground object (e.g., a mobile robot) from an initial to a final configuration in an environment. zePPeLIN is based on a set of wire...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent work in socio-biological sciences have introduced simple heuristics that accurately explain the behavior of pedestrians navigating in an environment while avoiding mutual collisions. We have adapted and implemented such heuristics for distributed obstacle avoidance in robot swarms, with the goal of obtaining human-like navigation behaviors w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Exact and heuristic methods for solving difficult optimization problems have been usually considered as two completely different approaches, with each of them being extensively studied by a different research community and used in different fields of application. In this work we propose a scheme for the integration and cooperation of an exact metho...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We consider the path planning problem of mobile networked agents (e.g., robots) that have to travel towards assigned target locations. Robots’ path planners have to optimally balance potentially conflicting goals: keep the traveled distance within an assigned maximum value while, at the same time, let the robot reliably and effectively communicate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The performance of a team of robots executing a coordination task is, to a large extent, determined by the reliability of the communications between the robots. In wireless networks, one way to improve this reliability is to choose the best among the available wireless links. For this purpose, an accurate link quality model is required. We show how...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We consider the path planning problem of a mobile robot that has to travel towards a given target location. The robot shares the environment with other mobile robots, altogether forming a wireless mobile ad hoc network relaying data in a multi-hop fashion. In this scenario, the robot's path planner has to optimally balance two potentially conflicti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a novel approach for the online learning of hand gestures in swarm robotic (multi-robot) systems. We address the problem of online feature learning by proposing Convolutional Max-Pooling (CMP), a simple feed-forward two-layer network derived from the deep hierarchical Max-Pooling Convolutional Neural Network (MPCNN). To learn and classif...
Conference Paper
In human relationships, responsiveness---behaving in a sensitive manner that is supportive of another person's needs---plays a major role in any interaction that involves effective communication, caregiving, and social support. Perceiving one's partner ...
Conference Paper
In human relationships, responsiveness---behaving in a sensitive manner that is supportive of another person's needs---plays a major role in any interaction that involves effective communication, caregiving, and social support. Perceiving one's partner ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As a first step towards human and multiple-UAV interaction, we present a novel method for humans to interact with flying UAVs using locally on-board video cameras. Using machine vision techniques, our approach enables human operators to command and control Parrot drones by giving them directions to move, using simple hand gestures. When a direction...
Article
Full-text available
We study cooperative navigation for robotic swarms in the context of a general event-servicing scenario. In the scenario, one or more events need to be serviced at specific locations by robots with the required skills. We focus on the question of how the swarm can inform its members about events, and guide robots to event locations. We propose a so...
Article
We address demand-side management of dispatchable loads in a residential microgrid by means of decentralized controllers deployed in each household. Controllers simultaneously optimize two possibly conflicting objectives: minimization of energy costs for the end user (considering a known, time-dependent tariff) and stabilization of the aggregate lo...
Book
This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-conference proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Bio-Inspired Models of Network, Information, and Computing Systems (Bionetics 2012), held in Lugano, Switzerland, in December 2012. The 23 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 40 submissions. They cover...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of search and rescue, we consider the problem of mission planning for heterogeneous teams that can include human, robotic, and animal agents. The problem is tackled using a mixed integer mathematical programming formulation that jointly determines the path and the activity scheduling of each agent in the team. Based on the mathematic...
Conference Paper
In the context of vision-based hand gesture recognition, we study how a robot swarm can incrementally and cooperatively learn to classify an unseen gesture vocabulary using a simple information sharing mechanism. Training examples and correction feedback are interactively provided by a human instructor. Each robot in the swarm is equipped with a st...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most local robot navigation algorithms are based on the concept of velocity obstacle, a mechanistic approach to the navigation problem in which a solution is engineered from scratch. Over the years, a number of different velocity obstacle variants have been developed to effectively handle multi-robot systems. In parallel, an alternative, human-insp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we deal with the problem of planning the activities of a team of mobile agents to maximize the performance of a mission, and, at the same time, enhancing the communication between them. We propose a novel approach based upon the use of connectivity directives, whose compliance is expected to translate into beneficial conditions for d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We address the problem of link quality estimation in wireless networks and propose a distributed online protocol based on supervised incremental learning. We first identify a set of easily measurable network features that jointly determine the quality of a wireless link. These features summarize the local network configuration which is associated t...
Article
Full-text available
In networked multi-robot systems, communication plays a major role defining system’s dynamics and performance. Unfortunately, existing multi-robot simulators do not provide advanced communication models. Therefore, given the intrinsic unreliability of wireless communications, significant differences might be observed between simulation and real-wor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The vision-based mechanisms that pedestrians in social groups use to navigate in dynamic environments, avoiding obstacles and each others, have been subject to a large amount of research in social anthropology and biological sciences. We build on recent results in these fields to develop a novel fully-distributed algorithm for robot local navigatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work addresses the relay node placement problem in wireless sensor networks. We consider a scenario in which all sensor nodes stream data towards sink nodes. Additional relay nodes can be placed with the aim of optimizing overall network performance in terms of data throughput. We formalize the problem with a linear, mixed integer mathematical...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We focus on the implementation issues of on-line, batch supervised learning in computationally limited devices. As a case study, we consider the use of such techniques for link quality estimation. We compare three strategies for the on-line selection of the data samples to be kept in memory and used for learning. Results suggest that strategies tha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The relay node placement problem in wireless sensor networks strongly depends on the data traffic patterns, which can be dynamically changing and not known with precision in advance. In our work, locations of the relay nodes need to be defined with the aim of improving network performance. While in current literature a uniform and constant traffic...
Article
Full-text available
We present a novel multi-robot simulator named ARGoS. ARGoS is designed to simulate complex experiments involving large swarms of robots of different types. ARGoS is the first multi-robot simulator that is at the same time both efficient (fast performance with many robots) and flexible (highly customizable for specific experiments). Novel design ch...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We introduce Convolutional Neural Support Vector Machines (CNSVMs), a combination of two heterogeneous supervised classification techniques, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and Support Vector Machines (SVMs). CNSVMs are trained using a Stochastic Gradient Descent approach, that provides the computational capability of online incremental learni...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present an approach for distributed real-time recognition tasks using a swarm of mobile robots. We focus on the visual recognition of hand gestures, but the solutions that we provide have general applicability and address a number of challenges common to many distributed sensing and classification problems. In our approach, robots acquire and pr...