Our bodies — and all living systems — accomplish tasks far more complex and dynamic than anything yet designed by humans. Many of the most advanced robots in use today are still far less sophisticated than ants that “self-organize” to build an ant hill, or termites that work together to build impressive, massive mounds in Africa. From insects in your backyard, to creatures in the sea, to what we see in the mirror, engineers and scientists at the Wyss Institute are drawing inspiration from nature to design whole new classes of smart swarm, soft, wearable and popup robotic devices. In this three part episode, Wyss Institute Core Faculty Members Radhika Nagpal, Robert Wood and Conor Walsh discuss the high-impact benefits of their bioinspired robotic work, as well as what drove them to this cutting-edge field.
In the first Bioinspired Robotics episode, Wyss Founding Core Faculty Member Radhika Nagpal discusses swarm collectives, as well as the challenges faced by women in the engineering and computer science fields.
In part 2 of the Bioinspired Robotics episode, Wyss Founding Core Faculty Member Robert Wood discusses new manufacturing techniques that are enabling popup and soft robots.
In part 3 of the Bioinspired Robotics episode, Wyss Core Faculty Member Conor Walsh discusses how a wearable robotic exosuit or soft robotic glove could assist people with mobility impairments, as well as how the goal to create real-world applications drives his research approach.