Michael Erdmann

Professor, Computer Science and Robotics

Office: 9203

Email: me@cs.cmu.edu

I am interested in making robots act purposefully and successfully in a world in which most everything is uncertain.  Sensors are noisy, actions are imprecise, and models are faulty.  I wish to understand how these uncertainties interact and how to overcome them.  My research draws on tools from geometry, mechanics, planning, probability, and topology.  Most recently I have explored topological methods for planning and control.  Topology allows a system to abstract connectivity properties, filtering out the imprecision caused by uncertainty.  For instance, one recent novel topological result is a graph controllability theorem:

A system can reach any state in a graph with control uncertainty if and only if the graph's strategy complex is homotopic to a sphere of dimension two less than the number of states in the graph.