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Topological Methods in Robot Motion Planning Subhrajit Bhattacharya flierTopological Methods in Robot Motion Planning
Subhrajit Bhattacharya, Department of Mathematics University of Pennsylvania
The Polytechnic School, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Friday, March 25, 2016
9 a.m. Goldwater Center (GWC) 535, Tempe Campus [
Free to attend
Seminar is free to watch via Abode Connect


In this talk I will motivate and introduce techniques for topological reasoning in various motion planning problems  in robotics, along with their applications to real-world robotics problems. In particular, I will focus on three broad  areas of research involving topological motion  planning: First, I will describe techniques for computing  homology/homotopy invariants that can be used, in conjunction with graph research algorithms, to find optimal  paths in different topological classes, with applications to multi-robot systems and tethered robots.  Second, I will  illustrate how topological constructions such as simplicial complexes can be effectively used to represent and plan  motions for swarms of mobile robots with extremely limited sensing capabilities in GPS-denied, unknown  environments for coverage, exploration and transportation tasks. Third, I will show how Morse theory can be used  for effective dimensionality-reduction of high-dimensional configuration spaces enabling path planning for  articulated robots. Following this I will give a quick overview of a few other emerging applications of topology and  few applications of differential geometry in robot motion planning problems.


Subhrajit Bhattacharya is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mathematics of University of  Pennsylvania, working with Professor Robert Ghrist and Professor Vijay Kumar. He completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical  Engineering and Applied Mechanics under the guidance of Professor Vijay Kumar and Professor Maxim Likhachev in 2012.  He received his Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur in 2006.  Subhrajit’s current research interest is centered around the application of algebraic and differential topology to  problems of robot motion planning, coverage, sensor networks and control.

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