In The Poly-PEDAL Lab, we attempt to integrate Nature with Computer Science and Engineering by collaborations with experts in these other fields.
We call this Biological Inspiration. We don’t like the term Biomimetics because it implies that we should design man-made constructions to mimic nature. Nature is spectacular, but remember evolution works on the just-good-enough principle. Many animals are constrained by their history and development. It’s like building a car. Humans could start from scratch and use different designs and materials. Animals must make small changes in what their ancestors left them, like trying to modify a used car. In many cases humans can do better than nature. However, what nature does supply are amazing design ideas that can be transferred to robotics, animatronics and adhesives – Biological Inspiration.
Overall, we hope to better understand how animals move by muscles and skeletons, simulate the complete movement of an animal from the nervous system through muscles to limb and body movements and construct remarkable robots and simulations that use these principles.