Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Working To Create Better Control Of Legged Robots And Human Prostheses Using Biological Inspiration

Date:
May 16, 2006
Source:
Georgia Institute Of Technology
Summary:
Steve DeWeerth and Lena Ting, faculty members in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, are working to create better control of legged robots and human prostheses using biological inspiration. Their research centers on better understanding how the nervous system communicates with joints and muscles for movement and balance and then designing systems that closely replicate the naturally fluid movement of animals and humans.

Hang Lu, an assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, holds a micro-sized chip designed to carefully control the types of stimuli the microscopic worms receive.
Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute Of Technology

Steve DeWeerth and Lena Ting, faculty members in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, are working to create better control of legged robots and human prostheses using biological inspiration. Their research centers on better understanding how the nervous system communicates with joints and muscles for movement and balance and then designing systems that closely replicate the naturally fluid movement of animals and humans. The research group’s goal is to help build robots with better mobility and prosthetics with natural movement more similar to a real limb.

One experiment involves a small robot that closely replicates the balance and movement of a cat to help the team determine how the body communicates to joints and muscles to help withstand sudden jolts or changes in footing. The little robot takes bumps and ground shakes while researchers gather data on how it avoids falling and what kind of pressures trigger a loss of balance.

Another project combines a real frog’s muscle with a virtual robotic leg. Force impulses simulating an outside stimulus (such as a sudden bump) are sent to the frog muscle by a computer and motor. The muscle then sends a signal back to the computer, and the virtual
model translates the reaction. The biological/computer fusion creates an electrical and mechanical information loop that provides researchers with a better idea of how the muscle reacts to certain mechanical stimuli.

And in research that could lead to novel strategies for tissue engineering, repair and replacement, Georgia Tech biologist J. Todd Streelman is looking at the jaws of different species of cichlid fish to better understand the mechanical properties of jaws and teeth under stress.

Some species of cichlids crush hard prey, like snails, while others do not. Streelman’s team is generating three-dimensional X-rays of the jaws to allow them to compare species and see the microscopic architecture that reinforces the jaws while the fish crush their prey. Using a technique commonly used by engineers to model mechanical properties, Finite Element Analysis, the team is able to determine which parts of the jaws are the most important in withstanding these extreme compressive forces.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute Of Technology. "Researchers Working To Create Better Control Of Legged Robots And Human Prostheses Using Biological Inspiration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060515232435.htm>.
Georgia Institute Of Technology. (2006, May 16). Researchers Working To Create Better Control Of Legged Robots And Human Prostheses Using Biological Inspiration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060515232435.htm
Georgia Institute Of Technology. "Researchers Working To Create Better Control Of Legged Robots And Human Prostheses Using Biological Inspiration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060515232435.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins