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Special Talk: Dimitris P. Tsakiris, Institute of Computer Science – FORTH, “Bio-Inspired Pedundulatory Robotic Locomotion”

March 5, 2009 @ 11:00 am

Abstract: Robotic applications, which involve propulsion in unstructured environments, require understanding, and exploiting, the relationship between robot morphology and the control of its movement. Drawing inspiration from biology, where such issues have been effectively addressed by the evolutionary process, can help in designing agile robots, able to adapt robustly to a variety of environmental conditions.

This talk will focus on robotic systems inspired by the morphology and locomotion of the polychaete annelid marine worms and of the centipede arthropods, which combine body undulations with the action of numerous lateral appendages, to propel themselves efficiently on sand, mud, sediment, as well as underwater. This type of locomotion has been termed pedundulatory. The development of computational models for the mechanics and motion control of such systems, involving the dynamics of the system and its interaction with the environment, will be presented, as well as the related SIMUUN computational tools. These are exploited to study the generation of pedundulatory gaits and assist the design of robotic prototypes, able to locomote on a variety of unstructured, granular and deformable substrates.


Dr. Dimitris P. Tsakiris is a Principal Researcher at the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) in Heraklion, Greece, and a faculty member of the graduate program in the Brain and Mind Sciences of the University of Crete. He holds a B.S. degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Maryland at College Park, USA. Prior to his current appointment, he was a Marie Curie/TMR postdoctoral fellow with the robotics group Icare of the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) in Sophia-Antipolis, France. His research interests lie in the areas of biologically-inspired robotics, sensor-based navigation and control, undulatory locomotion, nonlinear control and computational vision. He is a principal investigator and co-investigator of several national and European R&D projects, related to his research interests, and is currently leading the ICS-FORTH efforts on pedundulatory and hyper-redundant robotics and on robot-assisted endoscopy.


March 5, 2009
11:00 am
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