With the improvement of technologies in networked intelligent systems, we will soon be surrounded by large collections of autonomous systems that are equipped with sensors and actuators, aware of their local environment, communicate freely, and organize themselves to perform the required actions and services. These ubiquitous complex systems open up fascinating new areas of study, while requiring innovative research and development methods to control them.

In order to continue the advancement of self-organizing complex systems, Dr. Yan Meng’s research focuses on three specific areas. The first area consists of morphogenetic robotics that are inspired by the biological organisms and gene regulatory network (GRNs) models. They currently study the morphogenetic approaches for swarm robotics and modular robotics. The objective of these morphogenetic robotic systems is to be able to self-organize, self-reconfigure, and self-adapt to environmental changes, self-repair to system failures, and self-learn when the tasks changes.

The second research focus studies evolving cognitive multi-agent systems inspired by civilization human vying society systems. This cognitive system stems from the idea that an agent will not develop complex, intelligent behavior in isolation; it must be part of a culture that supports such development.

Her third point of interest is complex object/pattern/behavior learning and recognition, which can provide efficient perception capability for each robot/agent in the above self-organizing systems.

As the Director of the Embedded Systems and Robotics Laboratory, Dr. Meng has received partial sponsorship for research projects from the NSF, DOD, Honda Research Institute Europe, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), National Security Agency, and Stevens Faculty Startup Funding.