Published on April 24th, 2017 | by editor0
Driverless Vehicles and Student Research
A follow up post to the November 26, 2014 article titled “Wright Students to Present Original Research on Topological Robotics Dec. 4”.
The topological complexity is a numerical invariant which measures the number of commands an autonomous robot needs in order to move in a space to perform a task. This was the topic that Ricky Salgado and Emiliano Velazquez chose for their independent research course (math 299) with Professor Hellen Colman (mathematics) in Fall 2014. Since then, the students presented their work at Wright College, Northeastern Illinois University, and at the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS). The results of their research were published in the scientific journal Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) on August 11, 2016.
At the most recent USTARS conference, Ricky and Emiliano walked through the various algebraic definitions necessary to define the Topological Complexity and provided physical examples along the way. The symposium was held between March 31st and April 2nd in Amherst, Massachusetts.
At the symposium, Ricky and Emiliano presented the topological complexity for various scenarios, starting with a single robot moving in a simple space, then to more complex scenarios including more robots moving in more complicated spaces. They also provided an example where two driverless vehicles move on a track joining seven colleges throughout Chicago. They determined the number of instructions required as well as their content for this case study.
After returning, Ricky contacted Professor Colman, and said “We had never met so many people that were so passionate about their research in mathematics. We made many connections that will help us out in the future.” It is opportunities like this that help students, like Ricky and Emiliano, gain a greater passion for the subject matter, make connections, and grow professionally. Ricky and Emiliano said “the experience was amazing and we felt honored to have been a part of it.” After their success at the symposium, both Ricky and Emiliano hope to present their research at other conferences in the future.