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Aerial Robotics: Opportunities and Challenges

YEREVAN, Armenia – Adaptive control systems for aerial drones was the topic of a presentation organized by the American University of Armenia (AUA) College of Science and Engineering (CSE) on December 21. Professor Naira Hovakimyan, who is Schaller Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spoke about her experience in developing such systems. She also presented the past, present, and future of drone technology, challenges in developing robust adaptive control systems, and limitations of conventional adaptive controllers. Professor Hovakimyan also talked about the practical applications of drones in everyday life. 

Naira Hovakimyan received her MS degree in Theoretical Mechanics and Applied Mathematics in 1988 from Yerevan State University in Armenia. She got her Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics in 1992, in Moscow, from the Institute of Applied Mathematics of Russian Academy of Sciences, majoring in optimal control and differential games. Before joining the faculty of UIUC in 2008, she has spent time as a research scientist at Stuttgart University in Germany, at INRIA in France, at Georgia Institute of Technology, and she was on faculty of Aerospace and Ocean engineering of Virginia Tech during 2003-2008. She is currently W. Grafton and Lillian B. Wilkins Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at UIUC. In 2015 she was named as inaugural director for Intelligent Robotics Lab of CSL at UIUC. She has co-authored a book and more than 300 refereed publications.  She is the recipient of the SICE International scholarship for the best paper of a young investigator in the VII ISDG Symposium (Japan, 1996), the 2011 recipient of AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight award and the 2015 recipient of SWE Achievement Award. In 2014 she was awarded the Humboldt prize for her lifetime achievements and was recognized as Hans Fischer senior fellow of Technical University of Munich. In 2015 she was recognized by UIUC Engineering Council award for Excellence in Advising. She is an associate fellow and life member of AIAA, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of SIAM, AMS, SWE, ASME and ISDG. Naira is co-founder of IntelinAir, Inc., a company that commercializes data-drones for delivering actionable information from aerial imagery for various industries. Her research interests are in the theory of robust adaptive control and estimation, control in the presence of limited information, networks of autonomous systems, game theory and applications of those in safety-critical systems of aerospace, mechanical, electrical, petroleum and biomedical engineering.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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