matt-croppedI am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. My research is broadly in multi-agent systems, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and, especially, swarm robotics. Though these systems are very different, they often face similar challenges in real-world applications, regardless of what an “agent” is in each case. Accordingly, I focus on designing coordination algorithms for multi-agent┬ásystems under realistic, challenging conditions, e.g., under asynchronous communications, with noisy data, or with data privacy requirements.

I often model multi-agent coordination tasks as constrained optimization problems. Typical tasks, such as formation control for a team of robots, can often be naturally encoded in an objective function; in the case of formation control, one can minimize deviation from desired inter-agent distances. At the same time, safety conditions and other mission-critical requirements can be encoded in constraints, e.g., by specifying minimum safe distances between agents as they assemble a formation. With the ability to model multi-agent problems this way, I have designed and analyzed algorithms for solving distributed optimization problems under challenging conditions.

The ultimate goal of my research is to provide theoretical performance guarantees to multi-agent systems in practical problems. Applications drive my work on algorithms for coordination and control, and I verify theoretical developments I make by applying my work to teams of robots. More on this (and videos of robots at work) can be found under the “Research” tab.

The best way to contact me is via email: matthewhale@ufl.edu