Michael Coe, City College of San Francisco,  Physics

Small autonomous robots are viewed as an ideal platform for remote-monitoring and search-and-rescue operations, but little research has actually been devoted towards integrating sensors on the robotic platforms or to develop search algorithms utilizing mounted sensors. This research devises a method of creating virtual sensors as well as virtual sources or targets that allows for research on search algorithms apart from sensor development, sensor integration, or chemical sources in the lab. A graphical user interface was also created to simplify the experiment processes, decrease experiment times, and provide a means for user input during experiments. The program itself relies heavily on multithreading and queues to accomplish near real time updating and sending of commands to the robot. These elements allow for the rapid prototyping and testing of search algorithms for sensors before they are implemented on the robot itself and helps test the logic side the robotic platforms will need to be autonomous.

Faculty Mentor: Prof. Ron Fearing; Graduate Mentors: Paul Birkmeyer & Andrew Pullin; UC Berkeley Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science


Gabriel Denham, College of San Mateo, Physics

The process of straining graphene in particular ways has been shown to produce graphene nanobubbles containing strong pseudo-magnetic fields. A new technique involving light reactive polymers may provide greater control over nanobubble production. This new technique requires graphene to be accurately strained to a specific percentage by the deformable polymer underneath. Calculation and detailed modeling of the polymer’s expansion, and the resulting strain on the graphene, can clue us in to the ideal conditions for the creation of nanobubbles in graphene. Finite element analysis of the elastic strain on the graphene sheet at and around the nanobubbles will allow us to create the previously established ideal strain parameters and control nanobubble production with great accuracy.

Faulty Mentor: Mike Crommie; Graduate Mentor: Kacey Meaker; UC Berkeley Department of Physics