Amphibious robots: from animal inspiration to search and rescue applications.

Abstract– This talk will present several amphibious robots designed in the Biorobotics laboratory at EPFL. The talk will discuss how these robots can be used to test hypotheses about locomotion in lampreys and salamanders, especially the interplay between feedforward and feedback control (i.e. the interplay between central pattern generators and reflexes). It will also present how they can be adapted and used for search-and-rescue applications.

Auke_Ijspeert_low_resAuke Ijspeert is a professor at EPFL, and head of the Biorobotics Laboratory (BioRob). He has PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh and has been at EPFL since 2002, where he was first an SNF assistant professor, then an associate professor (2009), and since 2016 a full professor. His research interests are at the intersection between robotics, computational neuroscience, nonlinear dynamical systems and applied machine learning. He is interested in using numerical simulations and robots to gain a better understanding of animal locomotion and movement control, and in using inspiration from biology to design novel types of robots and locomotion controllers (see for instance Ijspeert et al, Science, Vol. 315. no. 5817, pp. 1416 – 1420, 2007 and Ijspeert, Science Vol. 346, no. 6206, 2014). He is also interested in the control of exoskeletons for lower limbs. With his colleagues, he has received paper awards at ICRA2002, CLAWAR2005, IEEE Humanoids 2007, IEEE ROMAN 2014, and CLAWAR 2015. He is member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science magazine, and associate editor for Soft Robotics and for the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics.