Mimicking natural movement

man with black hairDean Aslam, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and his colleagues in the Micro- and Nano-Technology Lab (MANTL) have developed several types of robots including MSU Smart Robots (MSR), Programmable Robotic Dolls (PRD) and Miniature Wall-Climbing Robots (MWCR).

The Miniature Wall-climbing Robots are equipped with two smart robotic feet (SRF) that allow it to climb vertical walls, transition between a floor and a wall, and change direction while walking on a surface. The researchers have also developed Maple-seed Flying Robots (MRF), which are equipped with an on-board microcontroller, LEDs, switches, sensors, and power source. These robots collect data and wirelessly communicate among themselves and with ground stations in environments where other man- or nature-made objects can’t fly easily. Flocks of MRFs can be released by drone vehicles.

(517) 353-6329 | aslam@msu.edu

man with glassesRanjan Mukherjee, professor of mechanical engineering, is studying bipedal robotic locomotion controlled by impulsive forces. His related research projects include work with mobile robots and nonholonomic (constantly changing within defined parameters) systems, telerobotics, haptics (tactile feedback) and impedance control, walking machines, biomimetic robotic systems, and swimming robots.

(517) 355-1834 | mukherji@egr.msu.edu

blond man and man with black hair and beardRobert T. Pennock (left), professor of philosophy, computer science and engineering, and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program (EEBB), and Charles Ofria (right), associate professor of computer science and engineering, use new control software to evolve quadruped gaits. Pennock recently modeled the evolution of simple movement strategies using digital organisms and has developed Avida-ED, a software program that uses artificial life to teach about evolutionary design and the nature of science. Ofria developed Avida, a software-based research platform consisting of populations of digital organisms used in biological research.

Pennock: (517) 432-7701 | pennock5@msu.edu

Ofria: (517) 355-8389 | ofria@msu.edu

man with glassesFunded by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation, Xiaobo Tan, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, develops highly maneuverable robotic fish by drawing inspiration from biological fish and exploiting sensing and actuation capabilities of electro active polymer materials. His group is also using robotic fish as sensor-rich platforms for monitoring aquatic environments, and exploring applications such as detecting and tracking oil spills.

(517) 432-5671 | xbtan@egr.msu.edu