Click here to read the news post from MechSE.
Despite the cold weather of the week, the group of co-PIs of NSF NRI award #1830639 SYNDROME convened on UIUC campus on 02/01 for the kickoff meeting as planned. Co-PI Pavone from Stanford could not join the meeting in-person because of unfavorable weather conditions and joined over Skype. Co-PI Xiaofeng Wang from University of South Carolina drove two days to catch with the meeting. Danette Allen, the director of NASA Autonomy Incubator, also could not travel because of the government shutdown; she dialed and participated online.
This exciting project “SYNergetic DROne delivery network in MEtropolis” looks into integration of parcel delivery drones with the ground vehicles on the road to optimize the time of delivery. Unlike the existing approaches developed by postal services that aim to use their own vehicles and drones, this approach takes advantage of the already available cars on the road, and hence is scalable. It is supporting green economy by minimizing the number of vehicles on the road. The drivers who agree to participate will be offered some payment as an intensive. The technical thrusts include challenging problems as predicting traffic patterns, control of vehicles over random networks, rendezvous with moving vehicles, humans’ perception of safety in the presence of flying vehicles, optimization of complex systems with multiple constraints, robust control and path planning of multiple vehicles in the presence of numerous constraints. Training of the future workforce on this challenging framework will produce broad-minded and synergetic scholars, capable of working across multiple disciplines under tough deadlines.