Maryland Robotics Center Seminar: It's Alive! Bioinspired and biohybrid approaches towards life-like and living robots

Animals have long served as an inspiration for robotics. However, the adaptability, complex control, and advanced learning capabilities observed in animals are not yet fully understood, and therefore have not been fully captured by current robotic systems. Furthermore, many of the mechanical properties and physical capabilities seen in animals have yet to be achieved in robotic platforms. For example, standard materials for robotic fabrication do not exhibit self-healing or have the ability to autonomously generate energy, as is seen in biological systems. Additionally, traditional robotic actuators lack the compliance, energy efficiency, and power-to-weight ratio combinations observed in musculoskeletal systems. In this talk, I will share efforts from my group in our two primary research thrusts: Bioinspired robotics, and biohybrid robotics. By using neuromechanical models and bioinspired robots as tools for basic research we are developing new models of how animals achieve multifunctional, adaptable behaviors. Building on our understanding of animal systems and living tissues, our research in biohybrid robotics is enabling new approaches toward the creation of autonomous biodegradable living robots. Such robotic systems have future applications in medicine, search and rescue, and environmental monitoring of sensitive environments (e.g., coral reefs). Vickie Webster-Wood Assistant Professor Mechanical Engineering Carnegie Mellon University To ask the speaker a question, click on the speech bubble icon in the lower right hand corner and type in the question in the window that pops up. The question will be sent directly to us. Please note that there is a little bit of a delay when streaming. What participants see is a few minutes behind what is happening at our end. The longer we stream, the greater the delay may become so the questions submitted at the very end may not reach us in time. The best way to get the questions answered is to send them as they come up.