John Baillieul

Prof. J. Baillieul
Distinguished Professor of Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor of Systems Engineering
PH: 617-353-9848 FAX: 617-353-5866


John Baillieul's research deals with robotics, the control of mechanical systems, and mathematical system theory. He has done research and written about (1) the connections between optimal control theory and what has recently been called ``sub-Riemannian geometry,'' (2) problems in the control of nonlinear systems modeled by homogeneous polynomial differential equations, (3) the control theory of rotating elastic systems, (4) motion planning and control of kinematically redundant manipulators, and (5) problems associated with anholonomy in planning motions for robots which have elastic joints and other components which store energy. Recently he has become interested in problems in information based control, networked control systems, and communication- constrained control of nonholonomic systems.

Click here for a more extensive bio.
Click here for my papers and Google Scholar metrics.

He currently directs the Boston University Laboratory for Intelligent Mechatronic Systems,
He is a member and serves on the Management Committee of the Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE). He is a member of the Center for Systems Neuroscience (CSN).

Fall 2021 offering of ME501   Click to see course website or syllabus.
Spring 2022 offering of ME740 Intelligent Machines.

Some neat robot videos:

From the Intelligent Mechatronics Lab

From Boston Dynamics

First edition: August, 2015     Second edition: September, 2021

The Encyclopedia of Systems and Control has been published.
Electronic access for the Boston University community.
The 50-th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control

"Fifty Years of Information Based Control Theory," The Twenty Third Bode Lecture Download.
Intelligent Mechatronics Lab in the news

"Batcopter flies to reveal secrets of swarming," Reuters, December 29, 2011 link.
The 48-th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and the 28-Chinese Control Conference --- Shanghai, China, 2009

  • Conference information.
  • CDC/CCC 2009 - A Shanghai Journey— bringing CDC to the urban gateway to the world's oldest civilization. ( [PDF], [HTML])
  • Shanghai Images .

    For interesting class Mini Projects, click here.

    A (very) few recent publications:

    1. "The Aerospace Program at Boston University---and the Origins of the College of Engineering," in the Aerospace Engineering Education During the First Century of Flight, published by the AIAA, Reston, VA, 2004, pp. 591-603.

    2. "Robust and efficient quantization and coding for control of multidimensional linear systems under data rate constraints," K. Li and J. Baillieul in International J. of Robust and Nonlinear Control, advance posting: J. Wiley Interscience, DOI: 10.1002/rnc.1142.

    3. "Special Issue on Technology of Networked Control Systems," P.J. Antsaklis and J. Baillieul, in Proceedings of the IEEE, January, 2007, 95:1, pp. 5-8.

    4. "Control and Communication Challenges in Networked Real-Time Systems," J. Baillieul and P.J. Antsaklis, in Proceedings of the IEEE, January, 2007, 95:1, pp. 9-28.

    5. "Control Communication Complexity of Nonlinear Systems," W.-S. Wong and J. Baillieul, in Communications in Information and Systems, 2009, 9:1, pp. 103-140.

    6. "The Standard Parts Problem and the Complexity of Control Communication," in Proceedings of the 48-th IEEE CDC, Shanghai, China, Dec. 16-18, 2009, pp. 2723-2728. DOI: 10.1109/CDC.2009.5400413.

    7. "A Motion Description Language for Robotic Reconnaissance of Unknown Fields," European J. Control, Sept.-Dec. 2011,Vol. 17:5-6, pp. 512-525. DOI:10:3166/EJC.17.512-525.

    8. "Decision Making for Rapid Information Acquisition in the Reconnaissance of Random Fields," PROCEEDINGS of the IEEE, March, 2012, pp. 776-801, DOI: 10.1109/JPROC.2011.2174101.

    9. "Control Communication Complexity of Distributed Actions," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 57:11, Nov. 2012, pp. 2731-2745. DOI: 10.1109/TAC.2012.2192357.

    More recent publications: Click here.

    Some Former Students:

  • Dimitar Baronov  
  • Jeremy Grace  
  • Lester McCoy  
  • Dhananjay Vinjamur Raghunathan 
  • Daniel P. Martin
  • Danbing Seto
  • Steve Weibel     
  • Subramanian Akileswar
  • Soon Heung "Matt" Lee      
  • Geoff Howell 
  • Madhan Kumar Kanagavel       
  • Dhananjay Vinjamur Raghunathan       
  • Atul A. Suri       
  • Adam C. Smith       
  • Grace R. Kessenich       
  • Hani Michael Sallum       
  • Keyong Li       

    The World's Smallest Inverted Pendulum Experiments

    As part of our research on nonlinear control and scaling laws, we have been developing the theory to support experiments in stabilizingwith very small scale inverted pendulums. Here are some (stainless steel) in the range of 1/2 inch down to two millimeters. Other MEMS type devices have been fabricated using surface micromachining techniques.


    Recent Books:

    1. Essays on Mathematical Robotics Edited with S. Shankar Sastry and Hector J. Sussmann, IMA Volumes in Mathematics and Its Applications, Springer Verlag, New York, 1998.

    2. Essays in Mathematical Control Theory Edited with J.C. Willems, Springer Verlag, New York, 1998.

    3. Mechanics and Control: nonholonomic mechanics, control, and variational principles, with A.M. Bloch, P.E. Crouch, and J.E. Marsden, Springer, New York, 2003.

    4. Encyclopedia of Systems and Control, J. Baillieul and T. Samad, Eds., Springer, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1447150596, ISBN-10: 1447150597, ISBN: 978-1-4471-5102-9 (Online),