Geometry and Analysis Seminar



Pfaffian Systems in Control and Robotics



Mr. Wong Chi Wing

The University of Hong Kong



A plane has just landed. A luggage cart is approaching, parking beside it and going to take those luggage to the main building. It's common, nothing extraordinary, and the passengers are going to get their luggage soon. All that is required are experienced truck drivers. But, what if the truck drivers are on strike?

The problem of motion planning has been studied in the 80s and techniques from differential geometry were found useful in the 90s. In this talk, basic notions of Pfaffian systems will be accounted, especially the Goursat Normal Forms. It turns out that the N-trailer problem can be modeled as a Goursat system, whereby the automatic luggage cart can plan its own path and go everywhere.

The speaker intends to keep everything at an introductory level and only knowledge of computing exterior derivatives is required.


November 15, 2000 (Wednesday)


4:00 - 5:00pm


Room 517, Meng Wah Complex




All are welcome