Research Areas

Comparative Biomechanics

We study how animals move and function using concepts from biology, physics, engineering, and other disciplines. Our research includes the study of morphology, biological materials and other biological components to gain insights into their behavior, evolution, and adaptations to different environments.

Specifically, we are interested in

  • How do different body shapes and sizes affect an animal's ability to move efficiently?

  • How do different types of biological materials allow animals to produce and control movement?

  • How do animals use their appendages and body to generate lift and propel themselves through different environments?

Soft Robotics

Soft robotics is a field of robotics that focuses on the design and development of robots made from soft, flexible materials. Having soft body parts similar to living organisms allows robots to interact with the environment and adapt to it in a more natural way. In our group, we are interested in how the flexibility of body parts affects the performance of locomotion in various complex environments.

Swarm Robotics

We design and control groups of simple and relatively inexpensive robots to study how they coordinate their actions and behaviors using local communication and interaction with their environment. We are specifically interested in the terrestrial swarm that can perform tasks that are beyond the capabilities of a single robot.

Current Research Topics

  • Soft modular legged robot

  • Aquatic and terrestrial multilegged locomotion

  • The function of appendages in quadruped locomotion 

  • Limbless robotic locomotion in a confined environment via feedback control 

  • Sprawling quadruped locomotion on complex terrain  

  • Flagellated locomotion in biological and robotic systems  

  • Collective excavation   

  • Collective object transport in terrestrial animals and robots

Current Collaborators

  • Dr. Hai Lin, University of Notre Dame

  • Dr. Michael Lemmon, University of Notre Dame

  • Dr. Margaret Coad, University of Notre Dame

  • Dr. Dervis Can Vural, University of Notre Dame

  • Dr. Rebecca Kramer, Yale University

  • Dr. Osman Dogan Yirmibesoglu, Boston Dynamics

  • Dr. Matt McHenry, University of California, Irvine

  • Dr. Olaf Ellers, Bowdoin College, Maine

  • Dr. Amy Johnson, Bowdoin College, Maine

  • Dr. Jianing Wu, Sun Yat-Sen University

  • Dr. Hoeseok Yang, Santa Clara University, CA