Skip to main content

Video Presentations

Fish-inspired Mobility

Speaker: Dr. Stephen Howe

Bio: Dr. Howe received his doctorate in integrated bioscience in August 2020 from the University of Akron. He studied maneuverability in fish and its applications to the control of fish-inspired robots. He was a biomimicry fellow with Bendix commercial vehicle systems where he helped identify and implement biologically-inspired solutions for several projects in the heavy vehicle sector. Stephen has been living in the Cleveland area for five years, but before that was raised and went to undergrad in California. He enjoys any activity that is close to the water including, competitive swimming, scuba/freediving, surfing, and fishing. He is also a maker, and enjoys 3D printing, carving wood and other materials, and most recently has been building bamboo fly-fishing rods. He has been married to his wife Amy for three years, and they have two cats and a snake.

Abstract: Locomotor behaviors enable an organism to move through their environment to access distributed resources and are important for capturing prey or avoiding predators. Predation and escape behaviors often require maximal performance, whereas general locomotion requires efficiency. In fish, the major aspects of locomotion studied are steady forward swimming and escape responses. These behaviors are important for understanding how fish succeed in their environment, but few studies investigate the performance of routine turn behaviors. These behaviors make up a large portion of a fish’s locomotor repertoire and understanding their performance will lead to a better understanding of how fish function in their habitats. This dissertation consists of three chapters that progressively explore the kinematics and performance of routine behaviors of fish. First, I describe fundamental kinematics of the routine turns, including body deformation kinematics and whole-body kinematics. Second, I use the insights from my kinematics experiments to design a new control scheme for multi-link fish robots and compare its turning performance with other control schemes from the literature. Third, I use live fish and a robotic model that spans a range of body depths to investigate the effect of increasing body depth on maneuverability. I conclude that heading change is primarily affected by body curvature, and accelerations are affected by the duration of the bending event. My new robotic control scheme was better at limiting recoil and maintaining acceleration but was poorer at total heading change and maximum centripetal acceleration when compared to the other control schemes. I found small differences in turn performance among live fish with different body shapes but found that increasing body depth improved turn performance in the robot. The results of these experiments add important observations about the performance of routine maneuvers in fish. They also raise questions about the neuromuscular and hydrodynamic mechanisms that govern body shape deformation and turn performance that can be investigated in future studies.

Plant-inspired materials systems and structures: Solutions for a “greener” technology in the 21st century

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck (Website)

During the last decades, biomimetics has attracted increasing attention as well from basic and applied research as from various fields of industry and building construction.

Biomimetics has a high innovation potential and offers the possibility for the development of sustainable technical products and production chains. The huge number of organisms with the specific structures and functions they have developed during evolution in adaptation to differing environments represents the basis for all biomimetic R&D-projects. Novel sophisticated methods for quantitatively analysing and simulating the form-structure-function-relation on various hierarchical levels allow new fascination insights in multi-scale mechanics and other functions of biological materials and surfaces. Additionally, new production methods enable for the first time the transfer of many outstanding properties of the biological role models into innovative biomimetic products for reasonable costs.

Animals with their fascinating movement processes have long attracted interest, but more recently also plants have been recognized as valuable concept generators for biomimetic research. The great variety of current plant-inspired material and product development is demonstrated by the Plant Biomechanics Group’s research projects of recent years. Examples include bioinspired branched and unbranched fibre-reinforced light-weight load-bearing systems, damping and puncture resistant materials systems, as well adaptive (anti-)attachment and self-repairing materials systems. Special emphasis is laid on embodied energy and intelligence found in moving plant organs which offer a huge potential for a new generation of materials systems for soft robots as well as for bioinspired architecture and technical applications in general. Such materials systems are a major field of research within the Cluster of Excellence Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems (livMatS).

Biocene 2020 Virtual Event

Biocene 2020 | NASA VINE’s Virtual Tour Video Project

Winners of the Virtual Video Competition were as follows:

Opening Remarks for Biocene 2020
Cultivating Future Innovators & Entrepreneurs
How can Biom* be used as a vehicle to support teaching of other disciplinary topics?
Diverse Perspectives, Equity, and Inclusion Day 1 – Amplifying Diverse Voices
Combating Ableism Panel
Continuing Conversation with Giselle Carr: “Wild Resilience: Learnings from Islands for a World Navigating Disorder”
Ideas for teaching Biom
Lightning session/Open mic – stories of diversity
VINE Cluster Report Outs
Interactive session: NSF grant work and working session on what should be included in a college level course.
Provide feedback