Wyss Core Faculty member Robert Wood, Ph.D. presented a talk at Le Laboratoire Cambridge on May 16th 2018 titled The Mechanical Side of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence typically focuses on perception, learning, and control methods to enable autonomous robots to make and act on decisions in real environments. Wood’s research focuses on the design, mechanics, materials, and manufacturing of novel robot platforms that make the perception, control, or action easier or more robust. He aims to facilitate this decision-making process in natural, unstructured, and often unpredictable environments. Key principles in this pursuit include bio-inspired designs, smart materials for novel sensors and actuators, and the development of multi-scale, multi-material manufacturing methods.
This talk illustrates this philosophy by highlighting the creation of two unique classes of robots: soft-bodied autonomous robots and highly agile aerial and terrestrial robot insects.