Specializing in everything from neuroscience, to applied mathematics, to globalization, to oceans, they are among UC Santa Barbara’s most accomplished faculty. And in a series of lectures beginning this week they’ll introduce their current research to summer students and to the community.
The series, Ground-breaking Research & Innovative Technology — otherwise and better-known as GRIT Talks — is presented by UC Santa Barbara’s Office of Summer Sessions. The annual program gives notable university researchers an opportunity to share their vast and diverse expertise with a broad audience.
The talks are free and open to the public and are available for viewing online via UCTV. This year, each lecture will be held in Givertz Hall Room 1004, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Dr. Elliot Hawkes' lecture will be "Adding Soft to Robotics: From gecko-inspired wall-climbing to vine-inspired navigation"
Natural systems, such as climbing geckos and wandering vines, are incredibly robust, adaptable, and capable of handling uncertainty in their environments. These traits are unfortunately not currently true about engineered robotic systems. I will discuss efforts to learn from nature by incorporating compliance, or softness, into robots to create new functionality. I will show results from recent work, including gecko-inspired adhesives that allow a human to climb a glass wall and vine-inspired robots that “grow” through challenging environments, such as a forest of nails or, potentially, the tortuous pathways inside the human body.