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International Conference on Mathematical Biology and

Annual Meeting of The Society for Mathematical Biology,

July 27-30, 2009

University of British Columbia, Vancouver



Plenary 89:00 am - 9:45 am, July 30
Anette Hosoi
Hatsopoulos Microfluids Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title Optimizing Locomotion: From Biology to Robotics
Abstract In this talk I will discuss various projects in which we take inspiration from nature to advance technology.  The driving force behind bio-inspired design is the idea that, thanks to natural selection, if a structure exists in nature that performs a desired function, it is tough for engineers to dramatically improve upon the natural design.  Yet, historically, the countless failures in biomimetics have been more notorious than its successes (e.g. airplanes with flapping wings).  There are many reasons for these failures - impractical energy requirements and complexity of controls, among others.  To avoid these pitfalls, our bio-inspired studies focus on simple biological systems (preferably organisms with primitive or, better yet, non-existant central nervous systems) in which the energy requirements are low and the biological solutions to challenging questions are grounded in mechanics rather than in neurological controls.
ChairDaniel Coombs
LocationWoodward 2