Robots: Modeling Biology

Posted 27 Jun 2010 at 10:55 UTC by mwaibel Share This

The Robots Podcast on Modeling Biology

The latest episode of the Robots podcast focusses on using robots to model biology. The first guest is Barbara Webb, who is director of the Insect Robotics Group at the University of Edinburgh and has published several seminal papers on the subject (her 2008 paper on "Using robots to understand animal behavior" is a good place to start). Following an earlier interview on her work, Webb now addresses more complex questions: What is the importance of distributed control and embodiment in biological systems? and How do we find equally powerful solutions for robots? This episode's second guest is Steffen Wischmann, who is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the EPFL and at the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Wischmann has a long-standing, deep interest in robotic models and his work has covered both embodied and cognitive aspects of robot models. He outlines the value of robotic models for biology, describes their strengths and limitations, and explains their increasingly important role in research fields that cannot rely on a fossil record to understand the evolution of traits, such as animal communication. Read on or directly tune in!

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