Living Dynamical Systems

2017 ~ Present | National Science Foundation, Physics of Living Systems Network


To discover physical principles of how animals move in complex, challenging environments. Use tools from physics, neuroscience, biomechanics, and robotics to extract mechanism of how animal and engineered systems move, especially with respect to stability, agility, and robustness.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Neuromechanics - the physics of movement in the context of the brain and body, robots as physical models to explore locomotion, sensor and device development for small (insect-size) locomoting system, small flapping flight, small legged running, bio-inspired design.

Methods and Technologies

  • High Speed Videography
  • Dynamic Systems
  • Stability and Maneuverability
  • Neural Recording and Control
  • Robophysics Models
  • Controls
  • Animal Experiments (mostly insects)
  • Experimental Engineering
  • Physical Modeling

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputational Media
  • ComputingComputational Science and Engineering
  • ComputingComputer Science
  • EngineeringAerospace Engineering
  • EngineeringBiomedical Engineering
  • EngineeringComputer Engineering
  • EngineeringElectrical Engineering
  • EngineeringMaterials Science and Engineering
  • EngineeringMechanical Engineering
  • Other
  • SciencesApplied Physiology
  • SciencesBiology
  • SciencesEarth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • SciencesMathematics
  • SciencesPhysics
  • SciencesPsychology

Preferred Interests and Preparation

PHYS - Background/interest in dynamic systems, robophysics, biophysics, neuroscience, classical mechanics, active matter, statistical mechanics.

BIOL, BME, BioE, PSYC - Background/interest in neuroscience, biomechanics, animal behavior, locomotion, physiology, biophysics.

MATH - Background/interest in applied math, dynamic systems.

ME, MSE, EE, AE, BioE - Background/interest in robotics, bio-inspired design, neurotechnology, experimental engineering, controls, sensing.

CmpE, CS - Background/interest in controls, machine vision, tracking

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Howey N209
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Dr. Simon Sponberg

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

National Science Foundation, Physics of Living Systems Network