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Title: Reverse Engineering Nature's Robots
Originating Office: IAS
Speaker: Daniel, Thomas Louis
Issue Date: 17-Jun-2016
Event Date: 17-Jun-2016
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 EF
Notes: IAS distinguished lecture.
Title from opening screen.
Abstract: Animals rely on information drawn from a host of sensory systems in order to control their movement as they navigate and interact with their environment. This is especially important in flight control where evolution has given rise to ingenious control and sensing mechanisms that permit agile maneuvers in challenging conditions. From predator prey interactions, to navigation in sensory deprived environments, to complex aerial maneuvers, flying animals accomplish flight tasks with remarkably small neural systems. This talk takes a control theoretic approach to examine how animals fuse information from multiple modalities to control multiple actuators while performing flight tasks. In some cases, the speaker finds that brains perform a remarkably simple summation of information from both visual and mechanosensory pathways. Moreover, that simple process affords a robust strategy for flight control and provides inspiration for future small flight systems.
Prof Tom Daniel received his BS and MS from University of Wisconsin and his PhD in Duke University. He has been a faculty member in the University of Washington (UW) since his initial appointment in 1984 and was the founding chair of the Department of Biology at UW from 2000 to 2008. Prior to working at the UW, he was the Bantrell Postdoctoral Fellow in Engineering Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. He is currently the Komen Endowed Chair of Biology, Professor of Neuroscience, and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering. He is also the co-Director of the UW Institute of Neuroengineering and the Director of the Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature- Inspired Flight Technologies.
Prof Daniel received several awards including the MacArthur 'Genius' Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Awards for Teaching and Mentoring at UW. He is on the editorial board of the Science Magazine, and is also on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Allen Institute of Brain Science. He has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2012. Prof Daniel’s research programs focus on biomechanics and sensory systems, addressing questions about the physics, engineering and neural control of movement in biology.
Duration: 76 min.
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures