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Animal behavior turned into robots and more at 4th international AMAM symposium
Date:5/15/2008

and behaviors to refine development of functional electronic systems that restore movement to humans with loss of movement due to spinal cord injuries.
  • Roger Quinn, co-chair of the symposium, and from Case Western Reserves department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is director of the Biologically-Inspired Robotics Laboratory, one of the pioneering labs in the country with robots based on cockroaches, crickets, ants and Whegs (robots with hybrid wheel-legs).

Animals are really cool. People have described insects as simple systems, and it drives me nuts, said Ritzmann. For nearly two decades, weve been trying to figure out how these guys walk and move. According to Ritzmann, while the field has expanded rapidly over the past 20 years, researchers who build these robots have come to realization that they are not simple at all.

Ritzmanns research group provides the biological basis for insect-inspired robots. The engineering group from Case Western Reserve under Roger Quinns leadership turns that information into mechanical devices. Case Western Reserve began its work in biologically inspired robots in 1987 when a doctoral student, Randy Beer, with the help of his advisor Hillel Chiel (biology and a researcher who works on slug behavior and soft-bodied robots) developed an artificial insect in simulation. They invited Quinn to join the group in 1989 (when Beer joined the faculty) and together they developed their first robot based on insect movement. Quinn and Ritzmann subsequently began to collaborate, and Quinn's lab has developed dozens of biologically-inspired robots with biologists Ritzmann and Chiel.

So much is still unknown about how insects process information, said Quinn, adding this is the next step in the process of designing and developing robots that can move and independently operate in diverse terrains or environments from a desert to a collapsed building.

Researchers and robotic
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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