Letter from the Director

HovakimyanWelcome to the University of Illinois Intelligent Robotics Lab (IRL), which was officially established in 2015, to unite the group of professors, research staff and students from Coordinated Science Labs with interests and research programs focused in control and decision problems applied to the latest robotics challenges. Our core group is pursuing ambitious and challenging problems in mobile robotics with the support of our affiliates, who collaborate with our faculty and supervise a large group of students, creating a vibrant environment around IRL.

The breadth of applications, where intelligent robotics solutions could be useful, span from military to commercial, including the rapidly exploding industries of precision agriculture, public safety, inspection of construction sites, forestry, elderly care, movies, remote package delivery, weather forecasting, building security, education, and probably hundred others in the next decade. One of the goals of our lab is to advance the intelligence and the decision-making process, through control theory and computer science of aerial robots, that can serve the purpose of saving human lives in dangerous situations like firefighting, bridge inspections, or reducing the human workload.

The core scientific problems include robust, stable and predictable flight, tight integration of image processing with onboard autopilot, cooperation and coordination of aerial robots over ad-hoc networks, supervisory control of large systems of drones in adverse conditions, and many others. Some of the new and emerging directions include human-robot interaction in shared spaces under various constraints, development of social etiquette for aerial robots, unconventional new configurations for flight endurance and the automation of building and infrastructure monitoring.

Our core and affiliate faculty have exceptional track record of solving fundamental problems in these directions, and are committed to expand into different application domains to make our IRL a prominent place across the globe. Please peruse the links of individual faculty and our projects to learn more about IRL and ongoing projects.

Naira Hovakimyan