Invited Research Lecture: Distributed Intelligence Systems: A New Paradigm for Systems Integration

Date: 22 Mar 2007 - 22 Mar 2007

Venue: Auditorium, Level 3, SIMTech Tower Block, 71 Nanyang Drive


Centralized systems have disadvantages that make them unsuitable for large-scale integration, including high reliance on centralized communication, high complexity, lack of scalability, and high cost of integration. The use of distributed intelligence system technologies avoids these weaknesses. Distributed intelligence systems are based on the use of cooperative agents, organized in hardware or software components, that independently handle specialized tasks and cooperate to achieve system-level goals and achieve a high degree of flexibility. By distributing the logistic and strategic requirements of a system, it is possible to achieve greatly improved robustness, reliability, scalability, and security. Key to achieving these benefits is the use of holonic system technologies that establish a peer-to-peer environment to enable coordination, collaboration, and cooperation within the network. Such systems require both hardware and software components.

This lecture provides an overview of the technologies of distributed intelligence systems that have been developed by the presenter and his company, students, and colleagues, in cooperation with the Holonic Manufacturing Systems Consortium, and members of the Technical Committee on Distributed Intelligent Systems of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. A hardware and software architecture will be described for a wireless distributed intelligence system infrastructure being developed at Intelligent Robotics Corporation in cooperation with the Intelligent/Distributed Enterprise Automation Laboratory of Simon Fraser University. Some recent applications of distributed intelligence systems will be described, including distributed trading of digital services, personnel and goods tracking, wireless automated meter reading, and resource management in distributed energy systems.

About the Speaker

William A. Gruver is President of Intelligent Robotics Corporation and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University. He received the PhD, MSEE, and BSEE degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the DIC in Automatic Control Systems from Imperial College of Science and Technology. His industrial experience includes management and technical leadership positions at GE Factory Automation Products Division in Charlottesville; GE Industrial Automation Center in Frankfurt, Germany; IRT Corporation in San Diego, Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems at the University of Kentucky, and LTI Robotic Systems, a California based startup that he co-founded. He has also held engineering and faculty positions at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, DFVLR German Space Research Center, Technical University Darmstadt, U.S. Naval Academy, University of Kentucky, and North Carolina State University. He has published 210 technical papers and 4 books on robotics, automation, control, and optimization. His current research emphasizes the development of distributed intelligence technologies and their application to manufacturing automation, robotic systems, digital services, and energy systems management. Dr. Gruver is an IEEE Fellow. Currently, he is the IEEE Director for Division X and the Jr. Past President of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, for which he has served as President, Vice President of Long Range Planning and Finance, Vice President Publications, Vice President Conferences, and a member of the Board of Governors. He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics and he co-chairs the Society’s Technical Committee on Distributed Intelligent Systems. He has served as Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, and was a founding officer of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Who Should Attend

R&D managers, engineers and researchers in the areas of mechatronics, robotics, distributed intelligence systems, and manufacturing informatics will find this lecture very informative and beneficial.  


Free admission. All are welcome. Registration is on a first-come-first served basis.