Videoconference: VaCAS Seminar, Speaker Dr. Luca Bertuccelli, MIT

Collaborative search for semi-autonomous multi-UAV missions
Many modern day aerospace systems, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), require increasing levels of autonomy. While current UAVs are primarily piloted by human operators, future systems will be expected to semi-autonomously acquire information, process the observations, and come up with optimal decisions, typically under high-level human supervision. One of the important areas of research in planning for these complex missions is that of the role of the operator in supervising these complex missions. This talk discusses the role of the human supervisor as the element responsible for allocating multiple UAVs in an environment to search for targets, process the imagery, and make assessments on the presence or absence of a target. We also present some recent work that underscores the importance of collaborative human-machine systems in which the supervisor can guide the automated planners to improved solutions in the context of multi-UAV planning. We will conclude with opp! ortunities for increased human-machine collaboration.
Biographical Information:
Luca F. Bertuccelli is a Postdoctoral Associate in the MIT Dept of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He obtained his BS in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 2002, his MS and PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 2004 and 2008 respectively. His PhD thesis addressed robustness to model uncertainty with applications to UAV systems, His thesis presented a new sampling method for solving robust Markov Decision Processes for real-time implementation, and extended this method for online adaptation. The thesis also demonstrated the importance of an integrated robust and adaptive architecture in persistent surveillance-like missions, such as collaborative search and track. His work in the Humans and Automation Laboratory involves modeling visual search in UAV missions while accounting for operator workload. His interests are in robust planning, real-time adaptation and control, integrated human-unmanned systems, and distributed decision-making! . Luca has previously served as an Air Force officer at Eglin AFB working on store separation flight testing.