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Animals as models for robot mobility and autonomy: Crawling, walking, running, climbing and flying

Roger Quinn


The biorobotics program at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) has been active for more than 20 years. This presentation highlights many of the projects undertaken during that time and describes how neuromechanical principles have benefited a number of robots. As this list of principles grows, so does the functionality and performance of the biorobots. We use biological inspiration to incorporate neuromechanical principles of locomotion and autonomy into robot designs. The dual goals are to develop useful robots and also to develop neuromechanical models of animals to test hypotheses about their design, movement and control. These goals are complementary. Better models lead to more efficient experiments and new neuromechanical knowledge, which points the way to improved robot designs and animal models.


Roger D. Quinn is the Arthur P. Armington Professor of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department in 1986 after receiving a Ph.D. (1985) from Virginia Tech and a M.S. (1983) and B.S. (1980) from the University of Akron. He has directed the CWRU Biorobotics Laboratory since its inception in 1990. His research, in collaboration with Roy Ritzmann, Hillel Chiel, and Mark Willis at CWRU and other biologists, is devoted to the development of robots and control strategies based upon biological principles. He has more than 200 publications and patents. His biology-engineering collaborative work on behavior based distributed control, robot autonomy, human-machine interfacing and robot design have each earned IEEE awards. His work on robot autonomy is resulting in the development of an inexpensive autonomous lawnmower that can edge obstacles and mow patterns.

Roger Quinn Headshot
Roger Quinn
Case Western Reserve University
EEB 105
16 Oct 2012, 10:30am until 11:30am