Dr. Antonio Franchi

Dr. Antonio Franchi

Guest Scientist
Alumni of the Department Human Perception, Cognition & Action
Alumni of the Group Autonomous Robotics & Human-Machine Systems

Main Focus

I am a Guest Scientist of the Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics and collaborator of the .

Between January 2010 and December 2013, I was first a Research Scientist and then the head of the  group at the Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics, in the department of Human Perception, Cognition and Action, directed by Prof. H. H. Buelthoff.

Since Genuary 2014 I hold a permanent Research position (CR1) at the in the in France.

For any information about my past and current research please refer to

  • at LAAS-CNRS, and the

These are my main topics of research (see  for an updated list):

We address the problem of the interaction between humans and groups of robots whose local synergy is exploited to accomplish complex tasks. Multi-robot systems possess several advantages w.r.t. single robots, e.g., higher performance in simultaneous spatial domain coverage, better affordability as compared to a single/bulky system, robustness against single point failures. 

We have formulated and investigated a novel problem called Mutual Localization with Anonymous Position Measures. This is an extension of Mutual Localization with Position Measures, with the additional assumption that the identities of the measured robots are not known. For certain configurations of the multi-robot system, the anonymity hypothesis causes a combinatorial ambiguity in the inversion of the measure equation, resulting in the existence of multiple solutions. 

In the Multi-SRG method, a roadmap of the explored area, with the associate safe region, is built in the form of a compact data structure, called Sensor-based Random Graph. This is incrementally expanded by the robots by using a randomized local planner which automatically realizes a trade-off between information gain and navigation cost. 

We studied the problem of designing optimal multi-agent trajectories to patrol an environment which is large w.r.t. the number of agents. Agents must continuously travel in order to periodically cover the whole environment but they can communicate with other agents only when "in visibility" and the inter-distance is small enough. As performance criteria for optimal patrolling we considered the worst-case time gap between any two visits of the same region and the latency for a message to be transferred from any to any robot in the group. 

This algorithm addresses a distributed, visibility-based pursuit-evasion problem in which one or more searchers must coordinate to guarantee detection of any and all evaders in an unknown planar environment while using only local information. The motivation is to develop algorithms to enable teams of robots to perform bomb or intruder detection and other related security tasks. It is a distributed clearing algorithm for a team of d-searchers with limited range sensors. 

Consider the problem of localizing and encircling a target using a multi-robot system. This kind of task is interesting in view of the large number of potential applications, among which we mention observation (retrieve and merge data about an object from different viewpoints), escorting (protect a member of the system from unfriendly agents) and entrapment (prevent the motion of an alien object). 

Consider a differential-drive mobile robot equipped with an on-board exteroceptive sensor that can estimate its own motion, e.g., a range-finder. Calibration of this robot involves estimating six parameters: three for the odometry (radii and distance between the wheels), and three for the pose of the sensor with respect to the robot. After analyzing the observability of this problem, this paper describes a method for calibrating all parameters at the same time, without the need for external sensors or devices, using only the measurement of the wheels velocities and the data from the exteroceptive sensor.

Curriculum Vitae

I am a Guest Scientist of the Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics and collaborator of the .

Between January 2010 and December 2013, I was first a Research Scientist and then the head of the  group at the Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics, in the department of Human Perception, Cognition and Action, directed by Prof. H. H. Buelthoff.

Since Genuary 2014 I hold a permanent Research position (CR1) at the  in the  in France.

I obtained the master degree in Electronic Engineering and the PhD inControl, Systems Theory and Robotics at the , under the supervision of . I have been a visiting graduate student at with .

In the past I worked in both embedded computing systems and business consulting companies.

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