Virtual Polygon to be created on the basis of NUST MISIS

“Virtual Polygon”, the international project designed to create virtual resources capable of testing unmanned vehicle techniques, has been initiated on the foundation of NUST MISIS’s Robotics Center and under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The project has involved such leading Russian universities as NUST MISIS, MIPT, and Innopolis Special Economic Zone (SEZ). “Virtual Polygon” is led by Cognitive Technologies.

The project was recently presented on April 13th, 2016. The widely-anticipated event drew denizens of influential people, including: Alexander B. Povalko, the Deputy Minister of Science and Education of the Russian Federation; Alevtina A. Chernikova, the Rector of NUST MISIS; Olga A. Uskova, President of the group of companies Cognitive Technologies, Professor Harry Bhadeshia, from the University of Cambridge; and Professor Edward F. Crawley, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Management from several notable organizations was also on hand, ranging from university rectors to technological developers. There was representation from the Agency for Strategic Initiative, AutoNet National Technology Initiative (NTI), RVC OJSC, Skolkovo, and Innopolis.

“Virtual Polygon” is a set of tools which allows creators to design both complicated interactions, including critical road situations and traffic flow in bad weather conditions, and more critically, the behavioral patterns of unmanned vehicles. It’s difficult to adequately describe the value of such a resource in the field of unmanned vehicles. Today, the lack of sufficient opportunities to test and debug developed mathematical devices is one of the main problems for the industry’s development. Virtual Polygon will provide a unique opportunity to solve this problem.

“NUST MISIS is a platform for Robotics Center creation, where large numbers of crucial tasks will be solved. We are already working with Cognitive Technologies and KAMAZ OJSC to create an unmanned cargo truck, and now we are starting development on the ‘Virtual Polygon’ project, which will solve one of the industry’s key issues. Additionally, a specific-purpose master`s degree program aimed at attracting the most well-trained and creative students is going to be launched. These students will be able to actively participate in the development of Russian robotics”, said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS.

“Virtual Polygon”, an international project, is being implemented within the National Technology Initiative’s (NTI) framework for the creation of unmanned vehicles in Russia, and is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

“Robotics will create enormous new opportunities for human progress in the 21st century, and we must fundamentally rethink both research in this area and the education of students. The Virtual Polygon project at NUST MISIS and the development of engineering education at MIT around ‘new machines’ both contribute to this global effort”, said Professor Edward F. Crawley, the Founding President of Skoltech (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

According to Olga A. Uskova, Chairman of the Coordination Council of the International Center for Robotics and President of the group of companies Cognitive Technologies, “The project is one of a kind in the world. In its complexity it is comparable to the development of an operating system. The application of virtual polygons will allow savings up to 1.5 to 2 billion Rubles. Otherwise, this money would have been spent on the testing and modelling of different road situations in natural conditions”.

“The aims of this project are amongst the most ambitious of international activities in the design, control and implementation of unmanned vehicles for ground transportation. The Russian approach is particularly interesting, with its goal of avoiding excessive technology while maintaining safety in a vast array of unintended scenarios. I very much look forward to the blossoming of this exciting project, which promises to have generic benefits beyond the current goals”, noted Professor Harry Bhadeshia, member of NUST MISIS International Scientific Advisory Council (University of Cambridge, UK).

The signing of the agreement between NUST MISIS, MIPT, and Innopolis SEZ took place during the event.

In 2015, the NUST MISIS Robotics Center was launched under the support of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. One billion Rubles have been allocated for its development. “It is an essential infrastructure unit for the consolidation of the world`s leading scientists and experts in the field of robotics”, said Dmitry V. Livanov during the Center’s official opening ceremony in October, 2015.

The Center is aimed at forming core competencies in the field of robotics—from the development of artificial intelligence to the creation of promising metal compounds and alloys for the next generation of robot production. These research studies are a vast part of the Center`s activities, and among its pride and joy.