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Spring 2024 GRASP on Robotics: Guillaume Sartoretti, National University of Singapore, “Towards Learned Cooperation at Scale in Robotic Multi-Agent Systems”

February 16 at 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

This is a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Wu and Chen and virtual attendance on Zoom.


With the recent advances in sensing, actuation, computation, and communication, the deployment of large numbers of robots is becoming a promising avenue to enable or speed up complex tasks in areas such as manufacturing, last-mile delivery, search-and-rescue, or autonomous inspection. My group strives to push the boundaries of multi-agent scalability by understanding and eliciting emergent coordination/cooperation in multi-robot systems as well as in articulated robots (where agents are individual joints). Our work mainly relies on distributed (multi-agent) reinforcement learning, where we focus on endowing agents with novel information and mechanisms that can help them align their decentralized policies towards team-level cooperation. In this talk, I will first summarize my early work in independent learning, before discussing my group’s recent advances in convention, communication, and context-based learning. I will discuss these techniques within a wide variety of robotic applications, such as multi-agent path finding, autonomous exploration/search, task allocation, and legged locomotion. Finally, I will also touch on our recent incursion into the next frontier for multi-robot systems: cooperation learning for heterogeneous multi-robot teams. Throughout this journey, I will highlight the key challenges surrounding learning representations, policy space exploration, and scalability of the learned policies, and outline some of the open avenues for research in this exciting area of robotics.

Guillaume Sartoretti

National University of Singapore

Guillaume Sartoretti joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at the National University of Singapore (NUS) as an Assistant Professor in 2019, where he founded the Multi-Agent Robotic Motion (MARMot) lab. Before that, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (USA), where he worked with Prof. Howie Choset. He received his Ph.D. in robotics from EPFL (Switzerland) in 2016 for his dissertation on “Control of Agent Swarms in Random Environments,” under the supervision of Prof. Max-Olivier Hongler. His passion and research lie in understanding and eliciting emergent coordination/cooperation in large multi-agent systems, by identifying what information and mechanisms can help agents reason about their individual role/contribution to each other and to the team. Guillaume was a Manufacturing Futures Initiative (MFI) postdoctoral fellow at CMU in 2018-2019, was awarded an Amazon Research Awards in 2022, as well as an Outstanding Early Career Award from NUS’ College of Design and Engineering in 2023.


February 16
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Event Category:


General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab
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Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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