Wednesday 16:00 pm - 17:15 pm Online via Zoom

livMatS Colloquium | Dr. Thang Vo-Doan (University of Freiburg) | Insect-machine Hybrid Robot: From locomotion control to future applications

Abstract
Insect-machine hybrid robot, also known as cyborg insect or insect biobot is a fusion of a living insect platform and a miniature control backpack mounted on its body. Using living insect as platform helps us to bypass complicated design and fabrication process for robot structure and actuators as well as complex controller for locomotion planning. It can easily adapt to any complex terrain due to the benefit of living structure such as soft interface, self-balance, and self-adaptation inherited from the insect. Electrical stimulation of the insect’s mechanoreceptors enables us to control the robot locomotion on the ground while stimulating the insect’s direct flight muscles help to control its steering and body orientation in flight. By implementing a simple feedback control system, we can control the hybrid robot to follow predetermined paths or approach targets precisely. Furthermore, the small size of the hybrid robot makes it a strong candidate for search and rescue mission when equipped with environmental sensors.

Brief Bio
Dr. T. Thang Vo-Doan obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University Singapore in 2016. Thang is interested in insect-machine hybrid robot, insect biomechanics, bio-inspired robotics, insect tracking, and electrocatalyst. He has been awarded a Human Frontier Science Program Cross-disciplinary Fellowship to work on a low-latency lock-on microscope for imaging neural activity of untethered Drosophila at the Strawlab, Institute of Biology I, University of Freiburg. Thang has been working on insect-machine hybrid robots since 2012 and has his works featured by many news and media outlets and covered by prestigious journals such as Current Biology and Soft Robotics.

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