Experiments in Legged Locomotion: Animals, Robots and Rethinking Control with Shai Revzen

Friday, November 30
10:30‐11:30 a.m.
Life Sciences Center (LSA) A Wing, room 191 [Map]

Even the most casual observer cannot help but notice how much better than robots animals are at moving through the world. From a systems perspective, animals are much more complicated than our machines, their components are much less reliable, and their actions much more variable – yet they consistently achieve their behavioral goals. This seminar will show how dynamical systems theory offers a unifying mathematical perspective that allows biological experiments to probe the structure of an animal’s neuromechanical control architecture in ways that are meaningful to a control engineer. Focusing on experiments – cockroaches traversing a hurdle, speed optimizing in hexapedal robots and humans running on a treadmill – Shai Revzen will show how results sometime seem to go against conventional engineering wisdom, and how Data Driven Floquet Analysis can be used to incrementally extend simple dynamical models so as to improve their predictive ability.

Speaker Bio
Shai Revzen is an assistant professor in the University of Michigan’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Revzen earned his B.Sc., magna cum laude, in computer science and mathematics with a minor in physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. After earning his M.Sc. in computer science (optimization) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, he went on to receive his Ph.D. in integrative biology (biomechanics) from the University of California, Berkeley.

He completed his postdoc training with Mark Yim, Dan Koditschek and George Pappas at the University of Pennsylvania. Revzen spent seven years working in the tech industry as chief architect in R & D. During this time his focus was on IP-over-satellite communications and MPEG encoding. Revzen is also co‐founder of a biotech/signal processing company. He is published in diverse journals across engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics and biology.

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