Thursday 5 December 18:00 - 20:00

Imperial College London
Huxley Building (Room 308)
180 Queen's Gate

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Feedback control goes wireless

Science & Technology

Feedback control goes wireless: Guaranteed stability over low-power multi-hop networks

Speaker Biography

Marco Zimmerling heads the Networked Embedded Systems Lab at TU Dresden, Germany. He holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland and a Diploma in Computer Science (2009) from TU Dresden. For working on his Diploma thesis project he spent seven months in Sweden, collaborating with RISE SICS and Uppsala University. In 2006 he did a six-month internship at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, USA. His research revolves around embedded systems and wireless networking, with the goal of designing dependable and sustainable networked systems that can power emerging cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. His work has been recognized through several awards, including the 2015 ACM SIGBED Paul Caspi Memorial Dissertation Award, the 2016 EDAA Outstanding Dissertation Award, and Best Paper Awards at ACM/IEEE ICCPS 2019, ACM SenSys 2013, and ACM/IEEE IPSN 2011.


Closing feedback loops fast and over long distances is key to emerging cyber-physical systems; for example, robot motion control and swarm coordination require update intervals of tens of milliseconds. Low-power wireless technology is often preferred for its low cost, small form factor, and flexibility, especially if the devices support multi-hop communication. So far, however, feedback control over wireless multi-hop networks has only been shown for update intervals on the order of seconds without stability analysis. In this talk, I will present a wireless embedded system design that tames imperfections impairing control performance, such as jitter and message loss. Our approach entails avoiding resource interference throughout the system and decoupling higher-level logic from the time-varying network state. As a result, control design and analysis are greatly simplified, allowing us to provide conditions to formally verify closed-loop stability for physical systems with linear time-invariant dynamics. I will also present results from a cyber-physical testbed with 20 wireless nodes and multiple cart-pole systems that demonstrate the capabilities of our approach and confirm our theoretical results.

Drinks to follow the talk.


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