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Fall 2010 GRASP Seminar – Robert Wood, Harvard University, “Challenges for 100 Milligram Flight”

November 12, 2010 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: We seek to elucidate how to apply biological principles to the creation
of robust, agile, inexpensive robotic insects.  However, biological
inspiration alone is not sufficient to create robots that mimic the
agile locomotion of their arthropod analogs.  This is particularly true
as the characteristic size of the robot is decreased:  to create high
performance robotic insects, we must explore novel manufacturing
paradigms, develop a greater understanding of complex fluid-structure
interactions for flapping-wings, generate high efficiency power and
control electronics, create new forms of actuation and sensing, and
explore alternative control strategies for computation-limited systems.
This talk will describe challenges for the creation of robotic insects
and the state of the art for each of these topics.  I will also give an
overview of the topics we are addressing in the NSF Expeditions in
Computing ‘RoboBees’ project.


- Learn More

Robert Wood is an Associate Professor in Harvard’s School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences and a core faculty member of the Wyss
Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Prof. Wood completed
his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees in the Dept. of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Sciences at the U. C. Berkeley. He is founder
of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab which contains advanced facilities for
rapid development and evaluation of unconventional robots on the micron
to centimeter scale. His current research interests involve the
creation of biologically-inspired aerial and ambulatory microrobots,
the unsteady aerodynamics of flapping-wing flight, minimal control of
under-actuated computation-limited systems, decentralized control of
multi-agent systems, artificial muscles, and morphable soft-bodied
robots. He is the winner of a 2007 DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 2008
NSF Career Award, a 2008 ONR Young Investigator Award, a 2009 Air Force
Young Investigator Award, multiple best paper and best video awards, is
a member of the 2008 class of Technology Review’s top 35 innovators
under the age of 35, and in 2010 received the Presidential Early Career
Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama. Wood has
served as PI or co-PI on multiple sponsored research projects including
the NSF-sponsored Expeditions in Computing ‘RoboBees’ project which he
is leading.


November 12, 2010
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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