Robotics and Intelligent Machines Center (RIM) Seminar-Dennis Hong

Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are held in room 1116 in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building from 12-1 p.m. Seminars are open to the public.

Dennis Hong, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, presents "From Odin to DARwIn: Robot Evolution by Intelligent Design" as part of the RIM Seminar Series.

Most mobile robots we see today utilize wheels or treads to move around. But why don’t we see such locomotion mechanisms in nature? Or a better question we should ask is: why don’t we use locomotion mechanisms used in nature for creating robots? Animals move in various ways; crawling, walking, jumping, and undulating to name a few. Inspired by biology, when and how should we apply these concepts to create robots with higher mobility? Bioinspiration does not mean simply copying ideas from nature, but rather learning the mechanisms behind it and being inspired by them to create novel concepts and solutions that go even beyond what we see in nature.

In this talk, we present several biologically inspired mobile robots developed at RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) between 2004 and 2012, including a unique everting robot inspired by the motility mechanisms of amoebae, a rock climbing robot that uses matching behavior, an actuated spoke wheel system for unstructured environments, a hexapod crawler with dry adhesive feet for zero gravity space applications, an autonomous wheeled vehicle that can drive itself in the urban environment, a novel three legged robot that walks more like a human, a scaffolding climbing serpentine robot that rolls up to move, and autonomous bipedal humanoid robots that can even play a game of soccer. The ability of robots created with bioinspiration can go even beyond that of animals in nature.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013
    11:00 am - Thursday, February 21, 2013
    11:59 am
Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Room 1116
Phone: (404) 385-3300

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  • Dennis Hong

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Josie Giles
RIM Communications Officer