NSF REU Site: Swarms of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Age of AI/Machine Learning
PI Houbing Song
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University establishes a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site to engage participants in research in drone swarms. The emerging concept of drone swarms, which is defined as the ability of drones to autonomously make decisions based on shared information, creates new opportunities with major societal implications. However, future drone swarm applications and services pose new networking challenges. A resurgence of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning research presents a tremendous opportunity for addressing these networking challenges. There is an overwhelming need to foster a robust workforce with competencies to enable future drone swarm applications and services in the age of AI/machine learning.
The project establishes a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site with a focus on networking research for drone swarms in the age of AI/machine learning at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The goals of the REU Site are: (1) attract undergraduate students to state-of-the-art drone swarm research, especially those from underrepresented groups, and from institutions with limited opportunities; (2) develop the research capacity of participants by guiding them to perform research on drone swarms; (3) grow the participants’ technical skills to enable a wide variety of beneficial applications of drone swarms; (4) promote the participants’ integrated AI/machine learning and drone swarm competencies; and (5) prepare participants with professional skills for careers. The focus of the REU Site is on the design, analysis and evaluation of innovative computing and networking technologies for future drone swarm applications and services. To be specific, research activities will be conducted in three focus areas, notably dynamic network management, network protocol design, and operationalizing AI/machine learning for drone swarms. Each year eight undergraduate students will participate in a ten-week summer REU program to perform networking research for drone swarms under the guidance of research mentors with rich experiences in AI/machine learning and drone swarms. This REU site is expected to foster workforce knowledge and skills about developing new computing and networking technologies for future drone swarm applications and services. This site is supported by the Department of Defense ASSURE program in partnership with the NSF REU program.
05/01/2022 to 04/30/2025