Control Seminar

Experiments in Legged Locomotion - animals, robots, and rethinking control

Shai Revzen

Assistant Professor
University of Michigan, Department of EECS
Friday, November 09, 2012
3:30pm - 4:30pm
1500 EECS

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About the Event

Even the most casual observer cannot help but notice how much better than robots animals are at moving through the world. From a systems perspective, animals are much more complicated than our machines, their components are much less reliable, and their actions much more variable – yet they consistently achieve their behavioral goals. I will show how dynamical systems theory offers a unifying mathematical perspective that allows biological experiments to probe the structure of an animal’s neuromechanical control architecture in ways that are meaningful to a control engineer. Focusing on experiments –cockroaches traversing a hurdle, speed optimizing in hexapedal robots, and humans running on a treadmill – I will show how results sometime seen to go against conventional engineering wisdom, and how Data Driven Floquet Analysis can be used to incrementally extend simple dynamical models so as to improve their predictive ability.


Dr. Revzen received his B.Sc. magna cum laude in Computer Science, Mathematics and minor in Physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Israel. M.Sc. in Computer Science (optimization) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Ph.D. in Integrative Biology (biomechanics) from the University of California – Berkeley. Post-doc training with Mark Yim, Dan Koditschek and George Pappas at U Penn. Dr. Revzen worked in the tech industry between 1996 and 2003 as Chief Architect R &D, focusing on IP over satellite communications and MPEG encoding Co-Founder of biotech/signal processing company. Published in diverse journals across engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics and biology.

Additional Information

Contact: Ann Pace

Phone: 763-5022


Sponsor(s): Bosch, Eaton, Ford, GM, Toyota, Whirlpool and the MathWorks

Open to: Public