Date and Location of the 4th Seminar

The seminar will take place on

July 24th, 2013
5 c.t.

in room 432 of the IWR building (INF 368).

After the talks there will be a food and drinks in the common room 514.

Speakers and Abstracts

Speakers, Titles, and Abstracts of the 3rd Fellows Seminar:

Dirk Rehn: Quantum chemistry and shiny pictures

As depicted in movies, computer-based research in chemistry or biochemistry usually involves
a scientist rotating 3D images of molecules. After adding some atoms here and there, the
workstation PC prints something like "stable" or "<property> in-/decreased by <number> <unit>"
in a matter of minutes or seconds. During my presentation I want to put scenes like that in perspective.
In addition I will elaborate a bit on the limits of quantum chemistry. The scope of feasible systems is
extended by technological progress as well as by method development, which is done in the Dreuw group.

Tuan Nam Nguyen: Do you dare to ride a motorbike in Vietnam?

As you know traffic jam is the biggest problem in Vietnam. The urban traffic systems in Hanoi
and HoChiMinh city are based on motorbikes (about 80%) and car (about 20%) without dedicated lanes
for each type of vehicle. That's why traffic is so chaotic and it is really hard to control. 
You can watch traffic in Hanoi via   this video.

My research is to model traffic system and simulate it. I hope that my research
can help government deal with this headache problem.

Henning Koch: Moving ahead in unstructured terrain - an alternative to legged robotic locomotion

In a lot of papers about robotics, the authors always reveal the objective of bringing robots
into the real world, conducting rescue or exploration missions, easily penetrating into territories
that are either to far away or to dangerous for humans. Consequently key requirements that
needs to be accomplished first, are robust locomotion capacities, with respect to unexpected
environmental conditions.

Despite the excitingly active research in recent times to squeeze bulky boxed robots from
wheels into flexible and versatile multi-legged structures (e.g. Humanoid-Robots, Hexapod-Robots),
we are potentially distracted by the fact, that these robots may possibly follow us one day in a
typical human-like environment (where wheels already fail - e.g. think about getting someone
in a wheel chair into the third floor without an elevator!) but may fail, when it comes to climbing,
swimming or penetrating narrow passages, typically found in incident sites.

A different type of robots that fits remarkably well to these constraints, features the so called
hyper redundant robots (its biological counterparts are snakes). Although they are in most cases
composed of just a simple chain of the same module and suffer from low payload and energetic
efficiency, they generally give evidence to highly complex locomotion capacities that are able deal
with an extremely large variety of different environmental conditions (Control performance is
even improved in the presence of obstacles (!!) - although this is mostly an undesired case in
robotics locomotion).

This talk aims to give a brief overview about these locomotion characteristics and how there are
potentially exploited in the construction of highly versatile and flexible robots.