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ONR: Bio-inspired Underwater Sensing and Control with Mechanosensitive Hairs

Faculty 

Xiaobo Tan
Matt McHenry

Funding Agency 

Office of Naval Research

Description 

Associate Professor Derek Paley (AE/ISR) is the principal investigator for a three-year, $700K Office of Naval Research grant, “Bio-inspired Underwater Sensing and Control with Mechanosensitive Hairs.” Co-PIs on the grant are alumnus Xiaobo Tan, (EE Ph.D. 2002), an associate professor at Michigan State University; and Matt McHenry, an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine.

The researchers will develop an underwater robotic perception and control system based on the lateral line and vestibular systems in fish that will support a closed-loop control system using bio-inspired, multi-modal sensing. Emerging tools such as functional imaging (a technique used in parallel with optogenetics) will be used to help resolve the role of multi-modal sensing in behavior. Tools from comparative physiology, material science, and dynamical control systems will be applied to solve the problem of closed-loop sensing and robotic control with artificial lateral line and vestibular organs.