For this edition of BkkSci, we're joined by John Palmisano, a robotics engineer who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and has previously worked at the Naval Research Laboratory.
Since the dawn of time, we've tried to recreate the agility and efficiency of animals that can do things we can't. Machines have been built, and robots have been imagined, but only until recently has robotics technology reached a state that it can attempt to accurately imitate the highly complex behavioral and physiological aspects of living organisms. This area of study is called biomimetics.
John will talk about his research, in which a robotic pectoral fish fin was built in an attempt to add the natural agility of fish to underwater robots and perhaps even submarines. He began by studying actual fish, and progressed to the building of intricate and complex robotic fins and an effective control system. A multitude of underwater demonstration robots have been built employing the fin technology in an effort to understand its effectiveness and efficiency.
This talk is recommended for anyone interested in experimental biology, for engineers and roboticists who are inspired by nature, and for computer geeks wowed by computationally intensive science. John has also promised cool videos of robots.