Robots are complex machines with lots of components. Each of these components has a precise purpose, and when each component acts as expected, it creates a seamless system that can accomplish intricate tasks.
This idea scales to networks of robots working in tandem to accomplish even more complex tasks. In this case, when one machine falters or fails to collaborate with the others, it can cause chaos: Picture a drone flying away from its fleet and failing to photograph its assigned area, or a self-driving car getting too close to another and disrupting carefully designed platoon.
Making networks like these smarter, more functional, and more efficient is the subject of two research projects at Lehigh University led by Nader Motee, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. Motee is the principal investigator for both projects, with funding totaling $1.13 million.