UPM Autonomous Systems Laboratory

The ASys Project

The ASys Project is is a long-term research project focused in the development of technology for the construction of autonomous systems in all classes of domains. What makes ASys different from other projects in this field is the extreme ambitious objective of addressing all the broad domain of autonomy. We capture this universal purpose in the motto: 

“engineering any-x autonomous systems”

The strategies for building autonomous systems fall into two main categories: i) build systems that are intrinsically autonomous and ii) improve autonomy by means of a control system.

In a purely theoretical sense, the first strategy seems to be the best –intrinsically sounds good for a property-, however, this implies that the system enginering process may get very complicated as it must take into account cybernetic aspects into the very design of the core physical process. This implies for example, that the physical design of a chemical reactor takes into account questions regarding weather or strategic decissions concering product quality. In some cases that will be possible, in many others the strategy to follow will be to try to encapsulate behavior to achieve modularity that renders proper operation no matter the environmental changes. So, in general, the second strategy is what is usually followed: improve autonomy adding control capability. However we should remember that these are just approaches for the engineering of autotonomy and not intrinsically different types of autonomy.