Fall 2022 GRASP on Robotics: Victoria Webster-Wood, Carnegie Mellon University, “It’s Alive! Bioinspired and biohybrid approaches towards life-like and living robots”
October 14 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am
This is a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Wu and Chen and virtual attendance via Zoom.
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).